It has only been about two weeks since our privilege of dining-in has been suspended, but I’m already having a withdrawal syndrome from the fried snacks I grab as I amble about in malls. I mean, how can you resist a deep-fried, tantalising, Old Chang Kee skewer? They glisten in their display cases. But since time and rationality forbids me to head out specifically for my fried snack fix, I’ve managed to come up with my own rendition of Crispy Potato Cheese balls. Fate had it that I had leftovers from my mashed potato dinner, and inspiration for my snack struck.
If you’ve chanced upon my recipe on the Monte Cristo sandwich, you’ll know by now, that I worship all things carb and savoury. And my stay-in cooking shenanigans have made me friends with breadcrumbs, as I so desperately want crunch in my food. So, with the crispy potato balls, you get melted cheese blended with its soft and fluffy mashed potato insides, encased in a golden brown shell that is crisp to a T. How perfect a snack.
- 2 cups leftover mashed potato
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 – 3 slices of cheese, depending on the type of cheese and quantity you prefer
- Plastic gloves (mashed potato ball-rolling can be a pretty messy affair)
- Frying pan
Preparation time: 30 mins; Cooking time: 10 mins
Feeds 1 (yields 6 to 8 balls)
- Using a tablespoon, scoop out 2 balls of mashed potatoes.
- Place a slice of cheese on top of one of the balls, and place the other ball on top.
- Then combine the 2 balls into one larger ball using your hands so that the cheese is contained within.
- Repeat for the remainder of the mashed potatoes.
- Place the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Have a plate ready for the potato balls.
- Take a potato ball, coat first with flour, then egg, and finish with a coat of breadcrumbs before transferring onto the plate.
- Repeat for the rest of the balls.
- Add oil into a frying pan, till it’s about 2 inches high. Heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Place 3 to 4 potato balls into the hot oil without them touching. Repeat for the remaining balls.
- Cover the plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil for when the balls are finished frying.
Recipe in pictures
Step 1: Using a tablespoon, scoop out two balls of mashed potatoes.
Step 2: Place a slice of cheese on top of one of the balls, and place the other ball on top.
Step 3: Form the two balls into one larger ball using your hands so that the cheese is contained within. Repeat for the remainder of the mashed potatoes.
Step 4: Place the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Have a plate ready for the potato balls. Take a potato ball, coat first with flour, then egg, and finish with a coat of breadcrumbs before transferring onto the plate. Repeat for the rest of the balls.
Step 5: Place 3 to 4 potato balls into the hot oil without them touching. Let one half of the ball fry, getting crispy and brown, before turning the ball over to fry the other half. Repeat for the remaining balls.
Step 6: Cover the plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil when the balls are finished frying. Let cool slightly and serve.
The end result of my potato cheese balls was ideal—a crispy exterior with a fluffy potato and cheese inside that was neither too light nor cloying for me. I’m not the most ardent fan of cheese, so I used a smaller portion of it. But feel free to add more and enjoy savoury bursts in each bite, while being careful not to be excessive as it can ooze out while the balls are being fried. Also, do take note of the ingredient measurements and the size of your potato balls, which greatly affects your yield. I expected a few more medium-sized balls in my yield, hence was a little disappointed by mine. Still, the umami flavours and crackling sounds made up for it.
Watching the flaxen balls turn quickly into golden-brown hues was the main highlight for me, but rolling the potato balls were a fun activity I got to do with my family as well. I’d imagine it to be a fun way to engage and entertain restless children at home, with tastes that will definitely appeal to them.
I’ll still be waiting for the experience of munching on my fried snack as I saunter about aimlessly in malls. But for now, this addictive and toothsome snack will satiate my cravings.
Expected damage: S$1 – S$2 per portion
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