kang potato (炕土豆—kàngtǔdòu)

Potato is popular in all kinds of variations across China. Homestyle potatoes(家鄉土豆) sold from street stalls in northern Hunan Province inspired this recipe.

In mountainous regions of Hubei and Hunan, tiny waxy potatoes are common, called yángyù(洋芋) in the dialect of Chinese spoken there.
The little round tubers are commonly boiled and peeled, then cooked with spices.

Spices are not essential and might be a little different in every home, though typically very spicy and bold. Hunan and Hubei are known for spicy food with a certain “dry heat”(幹啦), thus chilies are vitally important in many dishes and work well here. Scallions give a distinct touch. If you like, try adding Sichuan peppercorn, coriander, sesame, cardamom, cinnamon, or other spices to the mix.

Local potatoes are traditionally cooked in a special brick stove resembling a wok built into the counter, a method called kàng(炕) in the Hubei dialect. The kang potatoes(炕土豆, kàngtǔdòu, or 炕洋芋, kàng yángyù), are one of many homestyle potato(家鄉土豆) preparations.

Pan-cooking and roasting get the job done almost as well as real kang. Oil is omitted here, which unfortunately makes browning and crisping the potatoes difficult. Enjoy kang potatoes with rice and additional dishes such as stir-fried vegetables.


(serves 2)

10 small yellow waxy potato
1 clove garlic
2 dried red chili
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seed
5 scallion, chopped, white and green parts separated
1/2 cup water

• boil potato until easily pierced through, about 15 minutes
• let cool
• peel(half or quarter larger pieces)
• saute chili, cumin
• crush
• saute garlic, scallion white, spices, potato, continually adding just enough water to keep the bottom of the pan wet(alternatively, roast)
• garnish with scallion green
• serve