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.

Roasting does the job not nearly as well as real kang, though oil can be omitted. Be sure to roast at very high temperature to crisp and lightly brown the potatoes. Enjoy kang potatoes as a snack on their own or with rice and additional dishes such as stir-fried vegetables.

recipe

(serves 2)

10 small yellow waxy potato
1 clove garlic
2 dried red chili
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seed
4 scallion, chopped, white and green parts separated
1/4 cup water

• boil potato until easily pierced through, about 15 minutes
• let cool
• peel(half or quarter larger pieces)
• toast cumin, chili
• crush
• combine garlic, salt, scallion white, spices, potato, water
• roast at high heat
• garnish with scallion green
• serve