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I was wondering if anybody know a method to rice potatoes without them turning into mashed potatoes. When I do it to raw potatoes, they mush or just stay too crunchy and with cooked potatoes, just forget about it. What I am looking for is discrete, small bits of potato that will still have a pillowy mouth feel.

One avenue that I haven't tried yet is starting from mashed, but I can't figure out a way to segregate the bits so that they won't reform into mashed potatoes once a fork hits them.

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4 Answers 4

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What an interesting idea. Essentially you're looking to make rice out of potatoes, yes?

I can see a couple of options. You could make potato orzo (a small pasta that looks like rice) I suppose; googling recipes for potato pasta should point you in the right direction.

You could also, I think use the reverse spherification method. Make mash as you normally would, and then put it through a ricer into an alginate bath. This should preserve the individual 'grains'. You will need to have milk and/or cream in the mash to ensure there is enough calcium for the alginate to react with.

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Wouldn't the mash need to be very liquid for spherification to work? –  configurator Sep 29 '10 at 23:43
    
Not really, no. As long as the alginate can react with calcium, you're good to go. Check out the ingredients in e.g. processed cheese sometime; alginate and calcium are mixed in, react with each other, and the resultant gel provides some of the texture. –  daniel Sep 30 '10 at 0:41
    
@roux how would I procure alginate? and how much do I need? –  sarge_smith Oct 8 '10 at 22:32
    
You should be able to order it online. try www.albertyferranadria.com and look at their distributors. Willpowder.net is also a provider, I believe. –  daniel Oct 8 '10 at 23:06
    
@daniel This worked great-ish, i definately got a workable product out of it, but the consistancy still didn't quite work out, however the potato pasta was a hit so all in all it was a net win, thanks –  sarge_smith Nov 15 '10 at 3:01
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How about grating the potatoes as one would do for a rosti? This recipe suggests 'cutting into matchsticks', but I think life is way to short for such ventures. Just use a grater!

Rosti is pancake-like as its allowed to flatten into a mass. If you blanch and then stir-fry you gratings in clarified butter (ghee) and keep them moving they'll stay separate. Like little crunchy, soft-in-the-middle nano-chips. ;-)

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A technique I discovered to keep my potato salad from turning to mush is to add vinegar to the cooking water (I also add some sugar and quite a bit of salt to balance it out). The amount of vinegar really depends on how firm one wants the potatoes to remain. One to two tablespoons of cider vinegar per quart of cooking water is the range I use. You might have to experiment because too much and the potatoes will actually be too hard to push through the ricer.

I recently read a Cooks Illustrated article that suggested the same trick and they gave a scientific explanation why it works.

Now, there are a couple of problems for your application. One is the vinegar really flavors the potatoes, which works well for potato salad, but may not work for your application. Two is that I cut the potatoes up into the size I want for the salad before I cook. This wouldn't work for ricing. It remains to be seen if you can get enough surface area on the potatoes for the vinegar to reach and still be big enough to rice well.

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I riced the potatoes into the boiling vinegar water and it did help them hold their shape but the vinegar flavor totally overpowered the dish. I plan on trying it the other way... meaning cook the potatoes with vinegar first, then rice next time. –  sarge_smith Oct 8 '10 at 22:36
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Perhaps tiny potato gnocchi would suit your purposes? Of course, this would be a time consuming process. If you have a pasta extruder you could shape via the extruder rather than by hand, or make spaghetti via a roller and cut it.

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