College Kitchen blog: Let’s talk about hash browns

by Alexander Brodsky



Let’s say you happen to find yourself with some extra time in the morning. You wanna whip up something greasy but your pantry’s bare. What do you have? A 5 pound sack of potatoes that seemed like a good idea? Unless you own your own deep frier, going through a huge bag of spuds can be hard. Hash browns are a quick and dirty way get rid of some of that Idaho gold (a slang term for potatoes I assume exists). What’s better than a socially acceptable way of basically eating french fries for breakfast?


Hash browns can clear out your fridge like none other. Bell peppers? Sure. A single slice of bacon? Dice it up. Zucchini? Go for it.


One more quick note. A lot of people think of hash browns as shredded potatoes formed into pancakes and fried. Those are way more time consuming, however. This version is more like fried potato cubes, sometimes called “breakfast potatoes.”


3 potatoes, diced, basically any kind will do

1 medium onion, diced into large chunks

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 handful fresh basil, torn up

Olive oil or butter

Salt and pepper


Thinking of homemade hash browns does not conjure kind images. Soggy, limp, brown slugs. This is all about texture here. Hash browns live and die by their texture. The key to keeping them crisp? Parboiling. After you dice up your potatoes, boil them in some water with salt and about a tablespoon of white vinegar. They’re ready when you can pierce a potato chunk with a fork and it slides off by itself. Then drain them and throw ‘em in a pan with some oil. Parboiling cooks the inside of the potato so all you have to worry about when frying them is forming a nice brown crust on the outside.


Fry the potatoes until they’re golden brown, stirring them every couple minutes to cook them evenly on all sides. When they’re about 75 percent of the way cooked, throw in your diced veggies. If there’s a vegetable in your fridge, there’s a 90 percent chance you can dice it, fry it up with some potatoes and make breakfast. Salt and pepper the heck out of it and serve immediately.


And if you’re so inclined, fry and egg in the same pan and throw it on top of your hash-browned mess. Your hungover roommates will thank you.