One of my favourite things about Chinese cuisine is the way the potato is treated. It’s prepared, cooked and served with rice, like any other vegetable.

Stir-fried julienned potato is a joy to eat. The light, crisp texture is something to marvel at, especially if you’ve only ever had Western preparations of potato. Don’t get me wrong – crispy roast potatoes, buttery mash and salty golden chips are all absolutely delicious, but the unassuming little tuber has many more textures to offer.

For this recipe the potatoes are thinly sliced, blanched in boiling water and iced to quickly stop the cooking process. The potatoes should be cooked al dente, retaining some firmness. The key here is to slice the potatoes as uniformly as possible, ensuring that they all cook evenly. (No time like isolation to work on perfecting your knife skills.) Alternatively, invest in a Japanese mandoline.

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Rosheen Kaul’s Sichuan-Style Cold Potato Salad
Serves 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

4 small potatoes (such as a Desiree, but any waxy potato – Dutch Cream or Kipfler, for example – is a great alternative)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp chilli oil
Salt to taste

For garnish
Coriander stems, finely cut
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
Sesame seeds (optional)

Thinly slice the potatoes and soak in iced water for 10 to 15 minutes. Bring a pot of water to the boil, and blanch the potato slices until just cooked, roughly 2 to 3 minutes. Plunge potatoes directly into ice water to stop the cooking process.

In a small frying pan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry the minced garlic until fragrant. Turn the heat off, then add all the remaining ingredients (light soy, chinkiang vinegar, sesame oil, cumin powder, sugar, chilli oil and salt) for the sauce mix.

Drain the potato slices very well using a colander, and then on paper towels. Toss through the sauce and garnish with coriander stems and red onion. Add sesame seeds too, if you’re feeling fancy.

Chef Rosheen Kaul (head chef at Etta and ex-Lee Ho Fook, Dinner by Heston) is the author of the The Isol(Asian) Cookbook, which she developed with friend and artist Joanna Hu. See her recipe for vibrant, salty chilli oil here.

This article was updated on November 5, 2021.