Last updated on June 26th, 2022
Crispy potato sticks are tossed in spicy, sweet, and aromatic sauce will get you hooked for sure. Tips for kering kentang garing (crispy) without any chemicals.
Kering kentang is one of the popular Indonesian side dishes that you’ll often seen served with plain rice or nasi kuning or nasi tumpeng. Kering means dry and kentang means potatoes in Indonesian and garing (renyah) means crispy. So you can say that the direct translation is “crispy dried potatoes”. Doesn’t sound as good, does it? It pretty much means crispy potatoes.
The potatoes are fried until crispy and then tossed in spicy, sweet, slightly tangy, and aromatic thick sauce. It’s super addicting! Kering kentang is loved by most Indonesians that’s for sure!
HOW TO MAKE SURE FRIED POTATOES ARE CRISPY
Kering kentang may get soggy a few minutes or hours after you make it. Many people will soak the potatoes in air kapur sirih (lime stone paste) to make sure the potatoes stay crispy longer. I do not want to do that and you don’t have to. This kering kentang stays crispy for one whole day actually. Here’s how:
1. SOAK THE CUT POTATOES
Soaking the already-cut potatoes will draw out extra starches from the potatoes that usually make the potatoes soggy. Soak the potatoes for a minimum of 2 hours.
2. UNIFORM SIZE AND CUT
I highly encourage you to use a mandoline slicer or grater to cut the potatoes into uniform size and cut. The potatoes will get cooked at the same time
CAN I AIR FRY THE POTATOES INSTEAD OF DEEP FRYING FOR KERING KENTANG?
Yes you can, though the results are not as optimal compared to when I deep-fried them. The color is not as even. If you choose to air fry, here’s what to do:
1. Pat the potato sticks dry with an absorbent paper towel after soaking
2. Toss the potato sticks with one Tbsp of oil and with about 1 Tbsp of cornstarch. Cornstarch helps to absorb excess moisture
3. You need to air fry in small batches and try not to stack too much in the fryer. Air fry at 350 F for 5-10 minutes (time varies depending on your air fryer and the size of your potato sticks) or until they are golden brown and crispy
HOW TO MAKE REALLY GOOD KERING KENTANG GARING
1. PEEL AND CUT POTATOES
Peel the potatoes and use a mandoline slicer if you have one to cut the potatoes into uniform size sticks. This is important and will make your life easier when you fry them. They are cooked and get crispy at the same time. You can manually cut them too, it’s more work!
2. SOAK THE POTATOES
Soak the potato sticks in fresh cold water for at least 2 hours (overnight is fine too) and then drain off all the water and starch that leaks out. Do not skip the soaking part
Pat the potatoes dry after that
3. FRY THE POTATOES
Preheat about 1 1/2-inches of cooking oil over high heat. When you dip a chopstick into an oil and it bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready. Or you can just put one piece of potato in there and if it bubbles and floats, the oil is ready. Lower the heat to medium. You need to fry the potatoes in 3-4 batches. DO NOT dump all at one go. Place the first batch in and fry until the potatoes are crispy and golden brown. Remove to an absorbent paper towel. Continue frying the next batch.
4. PREPARE THE SPICED PASTE
Preheat 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a large pan/wok. Add the kaffir lime leaves and Thai chili and fry briefly, about 10 seconds or so.
Add the rest of the ingredients above and bay leaves. Cook until the sauce thickens to a syrup consistency
Add the fried potatoes into the sauce and turn off the heat. Stir to make sure the sauce is coating the potatoes. Sprinkle in the bawang goreng and stir again to mix. Transfer to a serving bowl.
HOW LONG WILL KERING KENTANG STAY CRISPY?
Kering kentang stays crispy especially if you bake them in the oven after frying. The last step of baking them really crisp them up further and they don’t get soggy no matter how long you keep them
THINGS YOU CAN ADD TO KERING KENTANG
It’s not uncommon to add things like: roasted peanuts, dried anchovies, fried tempeh (tempe). I highly recommend that you fry these ingredients separately and then add them in when you are about to toss the potatoes to the sauce. This helps to keep the kering kentang crispy.
DID YOU MAKE THIS EASIEST KERING KENTANG RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
The “wet” version of kering kentang, we call it sambal goreng kentang is also equally delicious. My mom made sambal goreng kentang so often when we were kids and it was one of my favorites for sure.
Kering Kentang Garing (Indonesian Spicy Fried Potato Sticks)
- 500 gr potatoes
- Cooking oil to fry potatoes
- 50 gr cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic grated or finely minced
- 4 kaffir lime leaves remove the vein in the middle use a scissor to cut into tiny pieces
- 2 bay leaves or 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 Thai chili seeded and thinly sliced, optional
- 100 gr sambal oelek or use chili paste
- 100 gr sugar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp galangal powder
- ¼ tsp salt
Soak the potatoes:
- Cut the potatoes lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Stack the slices up and then cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick sticks
- Soak the potato sticks in fresh cold water for at least 2 hours (overnight is fine too) and then drain off all the water and starch that leaks out. Do not skip the soaking part
- Use an absorbent paper towel and pat the potatoes dry
Fry the potatoes:
- Preheat about 1 1/2-inches of cooking oil over high heat. When you dip a chopstick into a oil and it bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready. Or you can just put one piece of potato in there and if it bubbles and floats, the oil is ready. Lower the heat to medium
- You need to fry the potatoes in 3-4 batches. DO NOT dump all at one go. Place the first batch in and fry until the potatoes are crispy and golden brown. Remove to an absorbent paper towel. Continue frying the next batch.
Prepare the sambal balado
- Preheat oil in a large pan/wok. Add the kaffir lime leaves and fry briefly, about 10 seconds or so. Add the rest of the ingredients above and cook until the sauce thickens to a syrup consistency
- Add the fried potatoes into the sauce and turn off the heat. Use two spatulas to gently toss the fried potato chips to make sure the sambal is coating the potato chips. Some pieces may be stuck together as the sugar caramelizes and that's normal. Transfer to a serving bowl. The keripik will crisp up as they cool down
To make kering kentang stay crispy:
- Spread the kering kentang on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 F (160 C) in the middle rack for 5 minutes. You need to keep an eye on them as there are sugar coating the chips so it may get burned if you bake for too long
- Let them cool down completely and they will stay crispy for a really long time. Store them in air-tight container at room temperature