Tu Dou Si — Shaanxi Sour & Spicy Shredded Potato
Tu Dou Si — Shaanxi Sour & Spicy Shredded Potato
During our trip back to Taiwan last spring, one of my prime objectives was to visit a certain Northern Chinese cuisine restaurant in Taipei. The owner and chef of the restaurant is from the Shaanxi province of China, which is a fascinating place. It neighbors Inner Mongolia, Ganxu, Sichuan and Ningxia, which includes a large population of Chinese Muslims. Shaanxi province’s capital city, Xi’an, is one of the four great ancient capitals of China and is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, which leads to Europe, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa. With so many diverse people moving throughout the region over the centuries, Shaanxi’s culture and cuisine is particularly distinct from what we typically think of as “Chinese food.”

Because of Shaanxi’s northern location, wheat and potatoes are a staple food. One of the most delicious dishes we had at the restaurant was stir-fried shredded potato. As simple as it sounds, its texture and flavor is nothing like any potato dish I’ve ever had before. Both my mom and I were determined to make this dish. And in the end, my mom won the contest by perfectly recreating the same texture and flavor as we had in the restaurant. So this week I’d like to share with you my mother’s recipe for this famous Shaanxi Sour & Spicy Shredded Potato. Being the end of the harvest season, many of us have a lot of potatoes stored in the root cellar. This will really spice up your potato dishes this winter!


2 russet potatoes
1 cup cold water
13 cup rice wine vinegar
114 tsp. salt
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 hot pepper, finely chopped
112 Tbsp. oil


Cut potatoes into thin sticks; rinse and drain the water. Try not to use the shredder and cut by hand instead, or else the potatoes will get overcooked and you won’t get the crunchy texture. (photo 1)

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, toss in the potatoes, oil and salt, and stir-fry for one minute. Add in the rice wine vinegar. (photo 2)

After that, pour in the water in batches, about 1/4 cup at a time. Cook until all liquid is cooked down. This will take about three to four minutes.

Remove from stove and mix in chopped scallions and hot pepper. Now it’s ready to serve!

This makes a delicious side dish that will complement a heavy, meat-based meal.

For more recipes, visit www.thewayriceshouldbe.blogspot.com.