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Chinese Ingredients - Just Like Blighty
Potatoes or Shiu Zhi
Potatoes are very common in China and available all year round. They come in both white and red versions, although they all taste about the same to me.

When purchasing, look for ones that are firm, and from experience, do not discard most that have any green. Pay particular attention to any holes, as there is some form of ground worm that bores holes into them. The other common problem is a brown, almost black blight that invades the insides, and turns the flesh to a horrible, foul-smelling mush.

Image: Potatoes - Click to Enlarge
I use them exactly as I would in UK, either as whole or mashed potatoes, or for frying as chips. The Cantonese for chips (Fries) is 'Siu Teu' or in other regions 'Teu Siu'.

Prepare them exactly as you would in the West, which is usually by peeling and then chopping into slices. Cook in water with a pinch of salt for 20 minutes, or until soft.

For chips I parboil, before using a wok with a lot of preheated sunflower oil; put on high and cover, stirring occasionally. The boiling means the chips remain edible, even when cold, and are much healthier.
Chinese Recipe 1

Peel and chop into the most awkward shaped chunks you can imagine. Stir fry in a wok with a little oil and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Add some chicken bouillon granules and toss for 10 seconds. Add a little water so as to prevent sticking and aid a small amount of natural gravy forming. Stir occasionally and serve when cooked. Chinese never add salt or pepper, and this recipe cries out for both!

Chinese Recipe 2
This is the dish you will invariably end up with if you ask for potatoes in any Chinese restaurant.

Peel a large potatoe or a couple of smaller ones and then grate into long thin strips. You can dice them alternatively, and the results should look like MacDonald's fries chopped into nine pieces each. These are really thin strips!

Flash fry in a wok with a little oil, finely diced fresh ginger, and a clove of garlic. Toss this mix for a couple of minutes on high heat, by which time the potatoe should be cooked. Transfer to a serving dish and pour over the juice. Wait for them to go completely cold and serve to table.

Potatoes are often served as a vegetable on their own, but can be added as chunks to soups and casserole type dishes. They are also a standard ingredient of 'Hot Pot'.
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