Crispy Vegan Thousand Layer Potatoes
If you look closely, you'll discover that one of my favorite dishes (potatoes with plant-based curd) has already been sneaked into this blog in several versions. There's the classic recipe, of course, but also a great sweet potato hash brown with lemon herb curd, crispy smashed baked potatoes with different dips and even potato waffles with ... eeh, oops, curd. So let's not fool ourselves, today, I'm dressing the popular German dish in another coat, but it's got a lot to offer, I promise!
Let's go hyper-super-ultra-crispy!
If you're on Social Media and interested in food, you couldn't avoid the "15 Hour Potatoes" or "Thousand Layer Potatoes." The recipe has been around before but hit the big stage when it went viral on TikTok. While a 15-hour recipe has scared off quite a few people, a potato with a thousand layers sounds pretty tempting, right? Honestly, though, you'll spend most of the time sleeping, and the rest is easily done, so don't worry and "brave it." In the end, you'll have ... a snack? A side dish? The biggest chips in the world? A tiny, crispy potato gratin? It's a little bit of everything, and that's what makes it so fabulous!
Here's how it works.
Cutting the potatoes takes up most of the active preparation time. This is where a mandoline comes in handy because you'll spend closer to 15 hours slicing them with a knife. Once you've done this step, all you have to do is mix the potato slices with the remaining ingredients and (again, with a bit of patience) layer them in a loaf pan. The famous recipes use a lot of animal fat for mixing. However, it turned out that it also works with plant-based fat (and even a fraction of it) to combine all the potatoes. Additionally, some potato flour and cornstarch help with binding. To give it more flavor, I drifted toward potato gratin in my head, which is why you'll also find plant-based heavy cream, nutritional yeast and dried rosemary in this recipe.
After layering, the first waiting phase begins, during which the loaf pan bakes for about 2 hours. Afterward, you weigh down the potatoes (for example, with cans of food) and let them rest overnight in the fridge. This is the second waiting phase. The next day, you'll have a quite compact block of potato slices that you just need to cut into wide pieces and fry in fat until they're golden brown and crispy. Of course, if you prefer, you're welcome to deep fry or use an air fryer for this step.
For serving, vegan crème fraîche with dill and cress is enough for me personally, but pickled onions or some vegan Parmesan cheese would also be great.
Crispy Vegan Thousand Layer Potatoes
For the potatoes:
- 1 kg (2.25 lbs) primarily waxy potatoes
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp potato flour (or cornstarch)
- 3 tbsp plant-based heavy cream
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- vegetable oil for frying
- vegan crème fraîche
- fresh dill
Clean the potatoes thoroughly and thinly slice them with a mandoline. You can peel them beforehand, but you don't have to.
Mix the potato slices in a bowl with canola oil, potato flour, plant-based heavy cream, nutritional yeast, dried rosemary, plenty of salt and some pepper.
Preheat the oven to 160 °C / 320 °F (convection heat). Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so there's plenty of overhangs. Layer the potato slices within the loaf pan, fold the overhanging parchment paper over the potatoes and bake the dish for about 2 hours.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Then weigh them down with heavy cans of food (e.g., coconut milk) and let them rest in the fridge overnight.
The next day, remove the potatoes from the loaf pan and parchment paper and cut the "block of potatoes" into wide slices. Heat plenty of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the thick potato slices from both sides until golden brown and crispy. Then remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Serve the crispy potato slices as desired, e.g. with vegan crème fraîche, fresh dill and cress.