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So I just tried this recipe for fried potato and turnip patties and completely blew it. I followed the recipe pretty closely, but the patties didn't hold together at all. The outside burned and the inside remained uncooked. When I tried to flip them, they fell apart. What can I do to get them to hold together? More egg and flour? Higher Potato to Turnip ratio? More or less oil?

How can I fix it? They taste really good -- the parts that aren't burned -- I'd like to get them to hold together.

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My guesses:

First, if you're burning the outside before the middle cooks, you need to reduce your heat some. The outside will still brown over time at a lower heat, and the inside will cook better. If you start in and it looks like they're browning real fast, just turn the heat down (and maybe take the pan off the heat) until things get back under control. Then resume cooking at the lower temp. Getting the middle more thoroughly cooked should really help with them staying together, as the egg needs to be cooked to be an effective binder.

Second, make sure you drain the veg thoroughly before mashing. Any excess liquid may make them tend to fall apart. When they're drier they're going to be a little more stick-together-y in the first place, and then the cooking with the egg should bind it.

If neither of these things helps, I'd probably go for more egg rather than more flour. But I bet the other two options will sort you.

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"The outside burned and the inside remained uncooked."

There are two places where it needs to cook more, either in the water or in the pan. If you cook it in the water also put the strainer over the hot pot without any heat under the pot to let the water drain for a minute or two. A drier mixture will hold together better. Depending on how far the mixture is boiled, the heat of the oil needs to be adjusted higher or lower so the middle is cooked without browning the outside.

The problem with the timing of the recipe has much to do with the type of stove you are using. The times will be different, for example, if it is a gas stove or an electric stove.

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