When Al’s Place in San Francisco menued brined french fries a few years back, it made a lot of us sit up and take notice. For years, we’ve seen creative takes on fries—mostly through dipping sauces and inclusions.
“Chef Aaron London gave people permission to take an iconic, familiar dish and turn it upside down,” says Don Odiorne, VP of foodservice at the Idaho Potato Commission.
“The success of those brined fries demonstrates that chefs can apply a tremendous amount of creativity to the fry itself through brines, glazes or infusions.”
These Japanese Caramelized Potatoes express that opportunity perfectly. Once the fries are pulled out of the fryer, they’re tossed in a reduction of soy sauce, honey and sugar, then finished with gomashio, or sesame salt.
“The result is a nicely coated french fry with a good shine on it,” says Odiorne. “You want to use the Russet Burbank because it’s starchy and won’t absorb all that moisture, so you’ll still get a hot, crisp fry.”
Operators can vary up the glaze according to brand focus, too. “This can be done to order, so you don’t have to change up your fries program,” he says. “You can cook a batch of fries, then glaze them with a signature sauce.”
Glaze variations include a balsamic reduction, hot honey and more. “That combination of savory and sweet makes this version stand out from regular fries on your menu,” says Odiorne.