If you love latkes and hash browns, you know that shredded potatoes are a perfect way to enjoy this starchy tuber. Thin, grated pieces of potato cook through quickly and turn golden and crisp. You can use a simple box grater or a food processor to shred potatoes in minutes.
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You can shred any variety of potato, but spuds that have a high starch content work best. Starchy shreds cling together and easily brown. Look for russet potatoes or any variety referred to as baking potatoes. Sweet potatoes can also be shredded easily.
Scrub the potatoes under running water and inspect them for any soft spots or blemishes that need to be cut away. No need to peel the potatoes—the peels are rich in fiber and flavor. But you may remove them if you prefer uniform color and texture, or if you're concerned there are bruises under the peel.
Tools and Techniques
Wear a cut-resistant kitchen glove if you have one and shred the potatoes using a box grater. Or do the job faster and use a food processor with a grating attachment. You may need to cut the potatoes into large chunks when using the food processor.
You can also shred the potatoes using a mandolin slicer with a julienne attachment, but the pieces will look more like small sticks than flat shreds. Another option is to cut the potatoes into chunks, run them through a spiralizer and slice the long shreds into short pieces.
Soak and Squeeze
If you're not using the shreds immediately, transfer them to a bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning pink or brown. Adding a squirt of lemon juice or white vinegar to the water prevents oxidation but may slightly affect the flavor of the potatoes. Whether or not you soak the shreds, squeeze out excess water to help the potatoes brown during cooking. Wrap the pieces in cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or a paper towel and squeeze the bundle until it stops dripping water.
Here are a few ideas for cooking shredded potatoes.
- Latkes: These are traditionally eaten in celebration of Hanukkah and served with sour cream or applesauce.
- Hash browns: Cook up some hash browns with onions.
- Corned beef hash: Fry potatoes with chopped corned beef and top the mixture with scrambled or poached eggs.
- Casserole: Use potatoes in simple casserole dishes.
- Soup garnish: Fry the potatoes and sprinkled them over a bowl of chicken or potato soup.
- Pizza crust. Mix the shreds with egg and pat them into a rimmed pizza pan. Bake the crust until it starts to brown, about 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add toppings and return the pizza to the oven until the cheese melts.