Basic Potato Tots Recipe

Basic Potato Tots
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins | Makes: About 45 tots

Who can resist fried potatoes? Eat just one french fry, hash brown, potato chip, or latke, and the next thing you know you’ve inhaled a man-size serving. Potato tots, with their piping hot, fluffy interior capped in a crunchy fried layer, are no exception. Don’t forget the ketchup.

This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Potato Tots project.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 medium), scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups canola oil, for frying
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake until easily pierced with a knife but still firm in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes. (If you have 3 smaller potatoes, cook them about 25 to 30 minutes.) When cool enough to handle but still hot, peel away the skin using a paring knife and discard. Shred the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle in the flour and salt, and mix until combined.
  2. Measure 1 teaspoon of the potato mixture and roll into a short cylinder about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
  3. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Add enough of the oil to a large frying pan to reach about 1/4 inch up the sides and set over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Check to see if the oil is hot by submerging the handle of a wooden spoon or wooden chopstick till it touches the bottom of the pan—the oil should bubble vigorously. When it’s ready, fry the tots in batches of 8 to 10 pieces (do not overcrowd the pan), turning once, until medium golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt. Serve immediately with your desired dipping sauce.
  4. To freeze, let the fried tots cool, then transfer to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Arrange in a single layer and place in the freezer. To reheat, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Evenly spread the tots in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until hot, about 15 minutes.