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Crispy Golden Rutabaga Fries Recipe

plate of rutabaga fries with mayonnaise
plate of rutabaga fries with mayonnaise - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

While french fries are universally popular for good reason, potatoes aren't the only vegetable that can be made tasty via the deep-fry method. Yes, even rutabagas can be transformed from an overlooked, underappreciated tuber into something crunchy, yummy, and ready for dipping.

Developer Tess Le Moing describes her rutabaga fries as "crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside," a texture they owe to a special technique she originally learned for making sweet potato fries. Le Moing starts by blanching the rutabaga fries in a mixture of water, salt, and baking soda have been added, which she says "not only seasons the inside, but also helps form the crust when fried." As an extra step, she coats the fries with cornstarch before cooking them to further the crisping process. And as if these fries weren't snackable enough, Le Moing takes them to the next level with a sweet and spicy mayo dipping sauce that complements their natural sweetness.

Read more: 8 Absolute Best Cuts Of Meat To Deep Fry

Collect The Ingredients For These Crispy Golden Rutabaga Fries

ingredients for rutabaga fries
ingredients for rutabaga fries - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

For the fries themselves, all you'll need are rutabagas, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and frying oil. The sauce calls for just two more ingredients: mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce — a Thai-style condiment you can buy or make from scratch.

Step 1: Peel And Slice The Rutabagas

sliced rutabaga on wooden board
sliced rutabaga on wooden board - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Trim and peel the rutabagas, then cut lengthwise into ½-inch planks.

Step 2: Cut Them Into Fries

sliced rutabaga on wooden board
sliced rutabaga on wooden board - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Stack 2 planks and cut into ½-inch sticks. Repeat with remaining rutabaga and set aside.

Step 3: Combine The Cornstarch And Water

cornstarch and water in bowl
cornstarch and water in bowl - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Whisk cornstarch and cold water in a large bowl and set aside.

Step 4: Boil Water With Salt And Baking Soda

water in pan
water in pan - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Add salt, baking soda, and a separate 1 quart water to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off the foam.

Step 5: Boil The Rutabaga

sliced rutabaga in pot of water
sliced rutabaga in pot of water - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Add rutabaga to the pot, return to a boil, and cook just until fork-tender, about 7 minutes.

Step 6: Coat The Rutabaga In Cornstarch

sliced rutabaga in metal bowl
sliced rutabaga in metal bowl - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Re-whisk the cornstarch mixture to combine and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the rutabaga to the bowl of cornstarch. Fold until the cornstarch thickens and clings to the rutabaga. Set aside.

Step 7: Heat The Cooking Oil

hand holding thermometer over skillet of frying oil
hand holding thermometer over skillet of frying oil - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Add peanut oil to a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and bring to 300 F.

Step 8: Fry The Rutabaga In Batches

sliced rutabaga frying in skillet of oil
sliced rutabaga frying in skillet of oil - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Using tongs, add rutabaga to the oil in batches. Fry until crispy and lightly browned on each side, flipping them halfway through frying.

Step 9: Drain And Salt The Fries

rutabaga fries on wire rack
rutabaga fries on wire rack - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Transfer rutabaga fries to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining rutabaga fries.

Step 10: Make The Dipping Sauce

mayonnaise dip in clear bowl
mayonnaise dip in clear bowl - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce in a small bowl.

Step 11: Serve The Fries Warm

rutabaga fries with mayonnaise sauce on tray
rutabaga fries with mayonnaise sauce on tray - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Serve fries immediately with sauce, or keep warm in a 200 F oven until ready to serve.

What Type Of Oil Can I Use For These Crispy Golden Rutabaga Fries?

fries with mayonnaise sauce on tray
fries with mayonnaise sauce on tray - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Since you will be deep-frying the rutabaga, you will need to use an oil with a high smoke point. "I prefer peanut oil for frying," Le Moing tells us, but she says you can use a different high-smoke point oil if you prefer. Canola oil and vegetable oil are both great for frying because they can not only withstand high temperatures, but they also are neutral in flavor and won't impact the taste of the finished fries.

One perk of deep-frying for this recipe: "You can save the leftover frying oil by straining it into an airtight container," Le Moing shares. If you'll be storing it at room temperature (Le Moing recommends a cool, dark place), it'll last for a month, but you can also freeze it for longer storage. One thing to note for future frying, though, is that the smoke point of your oil will lower a bit each time you re-use it.

What Kind Of Rutabagas Are Best For These Crispy Golden Rutabaga Fries?

fries with mayonnaise sauce on white plate
fries with mayonnaise sauce on white plate - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

If you've never cooked with rutabagas before, these fries would be a great place to start. When shopping for the vegetable, look for one that feels nice and hefty, has roots that are firmly attached, and has fairly blemish-free skin. "Use large, long rutabagas if you can find them," Le Moing suggests, explaining that these bigger tubers are ideal for making longer fries.

While smaller rutabagas may taste sweeter, that's not a big concern for this recipe, as Le Moing points out that "boiling the rutabaga with baking soda first makes it taste less bitter." Still, it's good to keep this info in mind in case you do develop a taste for this root vegetable and want to try it in other recipes. (We suggest this harvest-inspired turnip and rutabaga gratin from chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta's New American eatery Miller Union.)

Crispy Golden Rutabaga Fries Recipe

fries with mayonnaise sauce on wood serving tray
fries with mayonnaise sauce on wood serving tray - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 5mCook Time: 20mYield: 4 servingsIngredients

  • 2 rutabagas (2 pounds total)

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • ¼ cup cold water

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 ½ cups peanut oil

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 ½ teaspoons sweet chili sauce

Directions

  1. Trim and peel the rutabagas, then cut lengthwise into ½-inch planks.

  2. Stack 2 planks and cut into ½-inch sticks. Repeat with remaining rutabaga and set aside.

  3. Whisk cornstarch and cold water in a large bowl and set aside.

  4. Add salt, baking soda, and a separate 1 quart water to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off the foam.

  5. Add rutabaga to the pot, return to boil, and cook just until fork-tender, about 7 minutes.

  6. Re-whisk the cornstarch mixture to combine and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the rutabaga to the bowl with cornstarch. Fold until the cornstarch thickens and clings to the rutabaga. Set aside.

  7. Add peanut oil to a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and bring to 300 F.

  8. Using tongs, add rutabaga to the oil in batches. Fry until crispy and lightly browned on each side, flipping them halfway through frying.

  9. Transfer rutabaga fries a baking sheet lined with a wire rack and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining rutabaga fries.

  10. Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce in a small bowl.

  11. Serve fries immediately with sauce, or keep warm in a 200 F oven until ready to serve.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.