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Any solution to malt vinegar induced soggy fries?

I'm planning to fry up a batch of fries tonight. I love them piping hot and crispy but ever since a trip to England love them with malt vinegar. I actually haven't used it in a while, and was reminded what a great combination it is via another post on Chowhound and immediately acquired a bottle. My memory is that I love the taste of the malt vinegar, but always hated the transition of the fries into a soggy mess. Any solution to this? Would it work to pour some in a ramekin and dip fries or add it to the ketchup (if so, how much)? Thanks.

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  1. Use an atomizer to spray the fries. You actually dont even have to spray the fries if you dont want to, you can spray the vinegar in the air with an atomizer and eat your fries and you'll still "taste" the vinegar

    1. Ditto fleur de lis ..................
      I just don't understand why you'd use ketchup and malt vinegar. I might use on or the other but not both together.

      1. I've been mulling over a mayo-based solution to this problem - a mayo based dipping sauce with lots of malt vinegar and just enough mayo to give it some body. Using xanthan gum as a thickener would also bring the vinegar itself up to a dipping consistency without changing the flavor the way cornstarch or something like that would.

        1. You could use Malt Vinegar Powder. It is available from many Food and Spice Purveyors

          1 Reply
          1. re: chefj

            Yea, I just read about this "Malt Salt." Anyone actually prefer soggy fries?

          2. At what time during the preparation is the malt vinegar being added? The fries should be prepared without adding the malt vinegar. Have individual small dishes or bowls in which the vinegar is poured when the fries are served. Each diner can then briefly dip each fry just before inserting it in his/her mouth. As you probably can tell, I didn't understand the process in your post.

            I use malt vinegar with the fried fish that usually are served with 'chips', the British equivalent of French fries.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ChiliDude

              Nothing special - prepare fries, when finished, put in a bowl, sprinkle with vinegar and then will often dip in ketchup.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Forget the ketchup! Ketchup will overpower the vinegar.

                1. re: ChiliDude

                  Nah - ketchup just adds to the yumminess - though I do put my ketchup on the side of my chippie and dip the vinegared chips in.

                  What you need to try is something that coming from the West of Scotland I think is disgusting, but my Edinburgh friends love - that is salt and 'sauce' on your chips. Mix vinegar with HP sauce - I think you get that OK in the states - and that is what Edinburgers call sauce - an acquired taste but a local delicacy..!!

            2. I usually use concentrated rice vinegar, but that only helps a little. I've wondered about soaking cut potatoes in vinegar before frying, since I've read that people like to soak in water to remove starch or something. Has anyone tried that? I know boiling vinegar can sort of assault the eyes, so I'm not sure if that would also happen during frying.

              1. I shake the vinegar in a few fries, and eat those, then shake it on a few more,etc. I don't wet the whole portion of fries, just a few at a time.

                1. The traditional British solution is to eat the chips quickly - often while walking home from the chippy. Or eat them softer - chips are not intended to be anything like as crisp as American style fries.

                  I suspect that the OP's problem may lie in cooking the much thinner fries rather than the "size of your index finger" chips we have here.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Harters

                    Agreed - chips on teh way back home is the best - or else when they have been driven back home at break neck speed so the fish batter doesn't go soggy...!! I hate the upsurge in using syrofoam boxes and/or waxed paper - too much condensation.

                    1. re: alisonk

                      " I hate the upsurge in using syrofoam boxes"

                      Fried food places that sell to-go food in styrofoam make me rage! Its ALWAYS completely ruined by the time you get it home unless you leave the containers open

                      1. re: alisonk

                        It's been downhill all the way, since chippies were banned from wrapping in newspaper.

                    2. I do realize that ketchup involves vinegar though I enjoy the combination - to each his/her own I guess. I think I found my solution. Last night, lined up 2 ramekins - quick dip in ketchup, quick dip in vinegar = perfectly satisfyingly delicious and I could definitely taste both components (the opposite dipping order, not so much). I feel like this might warrant a new post on the "do you have any food rituals" thread. I appreciate all of the suggestions.

                      Also, yes Harters, they are fries rather than chips and so thinner (not as thin as a shoestring, more the thickness of a standard crinkle fry) so has much more sog potential.