I just love these Pan Fried Potatoes – deliciously crispy outside, soft and fluffy inside, and completely fuss free! One pan, no deep-frying, no roasting, less oil – easy! This recipe for pan fried potatoes is the perfect side for a special occasion, or just a great mid-week dinner. Enjoy!
Pan Fried Potatoes
I experimented with some different approaches to make perfect pan fried potatoes with no compromise on flavour. Less time, less oil, less trouble, and more taste is what I was looking for!
Let’s face it, everyone loves potatoes! Especially as a side for special occasions, but also as a go to for accompanying just about anything.
But if like me, you’ve often wanted a quicker and easier way to make super tasty potatoes – look no further!
Friends, I found it by cooking potatoes on the stove. They are delicious, and you should try them! Quick, easy, and full of flavour – there’s nothing not to like about this recipe.
Why do you cook potato with a frying pan?
When I think of potatoes, my mind often thinks of mashed, roasted or even hash browns. But in working on this recipe, I found that pan fried is every bit as tasty if not more so, and more straight forward.
With pan fried potatoes, you:
- have instant control over the pan and potatoes
- cook less oil
- adjust the temperature without opening the oven (and not forget that they’re in the oven!)
One of the great things about cooking pan fried potatoes is you can see how things are going and make adjustments instantly.
You can customize the appetizing golden colours and crispiness exactly how you want rather than rely on the oven to get things exactly how you want them.
It’s also quicker and easier to add salt, herbs, garlic or lemon juice and easily control the amounts, or add more.
The main disadvantage of pan frying is that you need to stay near the stovetop until potatoes are ready.
But, let’s face it, you’re usually in the kitchen when you’re preparing food, so I don’t find that much of a downside. And it doesn’t mean hovering over the pan constantly.
I use potato slices or diced potatoes to save the cooking time and ensure they’re evenly cooked. This works well as I prefer to serve fried potatoes as chunks like a restaurant. They’re just right for a main dish at Thanksgiving, Christmas or any family or friend gatherings.
You can make perfect crispy and golden fried potatoes like a restaurant in no time at home.
Bring joy in your life and share with loved ones. Let’s get started!
Why these pan fried potatoes are good
This pan fried potato recipe means:
- no extra pan for boiling potatoes
- less time
- cooking with one pan
- butter pan fried potatoes (if you love butter too)
Best potatoes for frying
Choosing the right potato is important to perfect fried potatoes. This recipe works well with ‘floury’ potatoes, such as Russet Burbank. The ideal is high starch potatoes – perfect for a crispy outside, and moist fluffy inside.
Pick up Kipfler or Pontiac if live in Australia. King Edward and Maris Piper work for the UK readers.
How to pan fry potatoes without sticking
You need a large 10 to 12 inch frying pan with a lid. A cast iron skillet frying pan or non-sticking frying pan is good. The non-stick pan tends not to absorb oil, so you can use less oil.
Before frying, steam the potatoes for just five minutes. While floury potatoes are generally best for this recipe, if you don’t have a non-sticking frying pan, you can use ‘waxy’ (less starch) potatoes.
It’s also important to leave the potatoes untouched for the first two minutes of frying.
A stainless-steel pan is not ideal as it can result in the potatoes sticking to the pan. I use Nambu iron ware, and a cast iron skillet frying pan which works well.
Ingredients for fried potatoes
All you need are potatoes, vegetable oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Then add more flavour with your favourite ingredients such as:
- parmesan and herb
- garlic butter
- garlic and herbs
- smoked paprika
- lemon and parsley
- chives or spring onions
The options are limitless. Experiment, it’s fun!
How to Fry Potatoes
There are a few things to prepare before you start cooking potatoes.
Should potatoes be soaked before frying?
Yes. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes. Then soak them in water. This helps the potatoes keep their colour and removes any bitterness and excess starch. Soaking for ten minutes is great, but even a few minutes is helpful. It will mean tastier potatoes.
Should you boil potatoes before frying?
I used to do this but it’s not needed for this recipe. Boiling means an extra pot and cleaning. Limiting washing up for a side is a real bonus for this dish.
Instead of boiling, you’ll steam the potatoes a bit in the pan. Then fry them with vegetable oil to make them golden and crispy. This is why you need a lid for the pan.
How to pan fry potatoes to make them crispy
- Again, high starch potatoes are helpful here. The exterior softens a bit in the steaming and absorbs the oil.
- Add oil to the heated frying pan, and fry over a medium-high heat. Flip over with a spatula occasionally (but not too often) until they become golden brown.
- Use vegetable oil as found potatoes get crispier with it. I also tried sunflower oil, peanut oil, corn oil and rice bran oil, and they all worked well.
How long to fry potatoes on stovetop
It depends on the size of the potatoes you cut, as well as the thickness of the frying pan you use. After steaming for about five minutes, I pan fry potatoes for ten minutes. The photo above is cooked with oil for five minutes on the pan.
How do you tell if fried Potatoes are done
When the outside of the potatoes become a deep golden brown, it’s ready. It takes about ten minutes. Use a skewer and check. If it’s soft inside and crispy outside, it’s ready. The photo above is ten minutes cooked on the pan.
I then added a tablespoon of butter, sea salt and freshly ground pepper for finishing, making the potatoes more flavorful.
Seasoning fried potatoes
You can enjoy these pan fried potatoes without just salt and pepper, but it’s also great to add your favourite herbs, spices and flavours.
When to season pan fried potatoes?
I add chopped parsley and chives after turning off the heat. If I add chopped garlic, thyme and rosemary – I cook them for 3-4 minutes in the pan with the potatoes.
That’s it! Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Can I just fry potatoes without boiling them?
Yes, you can, but you need to cook the potatoes longer. It would take about 30 minutes while this recipe takes 15 minutes, and ensures a more evenly cooked potato.
How do you pan fry potatoes without sticking them?
Use a cast iron skillet pan or non-sticky pan. I’ve found the stainless pan doesn’t help this, and let the potatoes easily break.
Use a cast iron skillet pan or non-sticky pan, and turn them with a spatula occasionally. Stainless-steel pans are not ideal as the potatoes tend to stick a bit.
More side dishes
Pan Fried Potatoes Recipe
- 1 lb potatoes (note 1)
- pinch sea salt (or kosher salt for cooking with water)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt for seasoning)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup water
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil (sunflower oil, peanut oil, corn oil or rice bran oil works)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 clove finely chopped fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon cilantro (or parsley or chive)
- 2 tablespoons lime (note 2) (or lemon juice)
- 1 clove finely chopped garlic
Butter shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- Clean, peel and cut the potatoes into one and half inch cubes. Leave them in water in a bowl for 3-5 minutes (or up to 10 if you have time). Then drain water. Make sure the potato eyes are removed.
- Add medium heat to the frying pan, place the diced potatoes and add water and a pinch of salt. Place a lid on the pan, bring the water to the boil, and steam over medium heat for five minutes. (note 3)
- Use a lid, and remove water from the pan. Add heat and remove moisture from the surfaces of the pan and cooked potatoes.
- Add oil into the pan and coat the potatoes with it by stirring with a spatula. Leave untouched in the first two minutes until the surfaces are cooked.
- Cook potatoes with the medium heat until the surface becomes crispy and is a deep golden brown colour. Flip over the potatoes with a spatula occasionally, but not too much. It takes about ten to twelve minutes.
- Add the ingredients of the sauce (either garlic butter, herb sauce or butter soy sauce) towards the end of cooking.That's it. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- The best potatoes for this recipe are high starch potatoes, and are often mentioned as ‘floury’. In North America, Russet Burbank is good. Kipfler or Pontiac go well in Australia. King Edward and Maris Piper work in the UK. But if you don’t have non-sticking pan, waxy potatoes may work better as floury high starch potatoes get sticky on the pan.
- Lime juice works well with cilantro and garlic. You can add more lime juice but to keep the crispiness of the potatoes, the juice should be limited. Lemon can be used. Rosemary or thyme goes well with potatoes too.
- A cast iron skillet best works for this recipe, or use non-stick frying pan. You will need a lid to steam the potatoes. I use Nambu iron ware.