Shoestring Fries: Thin, Crispy, and Delicious

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Shoestring Fries: Thin, Crispy, and Delicious

Thin and crispy fries, like shoestring fries, are starting to grow more popular in restaurants and for cooking at home. These thinner versions of French fries have become a favorite snack food option now too! Their thin shape and extra crunch make them a hard-to-resist snack or meal. Yes, making shoe-string fries need more work than normal ones but it’s good because you get a yummy mix of crunchy outside and soft inside.

Shoestring Fries

In this article, learn all about how to make perfect homemade shoestring fries from slicing to frying. We’ll cover everything from choosing the best potatoes to double frying techniques ensuring ideal texture. Read on for pro tips helping you serve piles of thin and crispy fries that keep everyone coming back for more.

Choosing Potatoes

The potato variety greatly impacts the taste and texture of shoestring fries. Starchy russet potatoes create fluffier interiors that get ultra crispy exterior shells when fried resulting in that signature light and crispy shoestring fry. Stay away from waxy red or white potatoes that won’t fry up the same way. For best results:

Select large Russet potatoes over other varieties for appropriately high starch content needed to achieve tender insides and crispy outsides after frying in hot oil.

Choose smooth, firm whole potatoes without sprouts or green spots indicating presence of solanine that lends unpleasant bitter taste when fried.

Buy similar sized potatoes to promote even slicing, cooking and ensure fries finish at the same time during frying avoiding burnt edges.

Allow uncooked potatoes to come to room temperature before prepping as cold starch repels oil absorption key for getting fries crispy.

Prepping Potatoes

Washing, peeling and precisely slicing the potatoes before frying leads to stellar results:

  • Always wash potatoes well removing dirt. Peel off all skin using vegetable peelers or paring knives since skins inhibit oil permeating for ultimate crunch factor.
  • Cut potatoes lengthwise into long 1⁄4 to 1/3 inch thick planks depending on desired fry thickness. Aim for fry widths roughly 1/8 inch for crispiest results.
  • Cut potato planks into longer fry sections at least 3 inches achieving true shoestring shapes. For fun variations, make curly fries by slicing potato planks using crinkle edged slicers prior to chopping.
  • As prepped fries accumulate, place immediately into bowls filled with cold water preventing surface starch oxidation causing gray discoloration. Soak for 1 hour minimum if time permits.
Double Frying Shoestrings

Achieving ultra crispy shoestring fries hinges on double frying. The initial fry gently cooks fry interiors. The second fry at hotter temperatures browns exterior to golden perfection.

  • In heavy bottomed pot, heat at least 3 inches depth peanut or vegetable oil to 325°F for first fry session. Gently add drained potato fries, cooking only 1 to 2 minutes until pliable but not browned. Transfer first batch to paper towel lined sheet pan in single layer.
  • Once all fries complete first fry, allow oil to reheat to 375°F. Return single serve portions back for second fry 30-60 seconds until crisp and golden brown. Work in batches so oil maintains optimal temperature. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot!
  • Serving Shoestrings Part of shoestring fries’ appeal comes from maximizing contrasting textures. Follow these serving tips for maintaining crispy textures and moreish flavors diners savor:
  • Serve fries immediately after second fry while ultra hot and crisp. Allowing to sit causes moisture condensation compromising crunch.
  • Portion fries out in dedicated paper cones, newspaper style so air circulates preventing steam buildup leadings to sogginess. Or display piled in wire baskets.

If needing to keep first fried potatoes hot during prep, spread out single file on wire racks set atop baking sheets placed in 225°F ovens. This avoids damaging crispiness that stacking permits through trapped condensation.

Experiment with creative seasonings beyond classic salt. Chili powder, cayenne and paprika add some kick. Alternatively, grated parmesan, parsley or lemon zest offer richness. Serve condiments like spicy aioli on the side allowing personalization.


Shoestring fries require a bit more prep work compared to regular fries when cutting potatoes into long thin strips. However properly prepping potatoes, soaking to reduce oxidation, double frying at precise temperatures, and properly serving pays off delivering ideal crispy yet fluffy interior texture perfection. Adjust slicing width, fry times or seasoning to customize for any taste so all enjoy these special spuds as delicious snacks, appetizers or sides.


What is the difference between shoestring and steak fries?

Shoestring fries are very skinny, around 1/8 inch wide or less. Steak fries are much thicker, usually 1⁄2 inch cuts or wider.

Why soak fries after slicing?

Soaking prevents cut potato surface cells from oxidizing leading to unpleasant grayish hues. Soaking allows starch molecules to realign tighter, so fries get extra crisp when frying in hot oil.

What oil works best for crispy shoestring fries?

Peanut oil withstands high frying heats without burning maintaining integrity for crispiest results. Corn, canola or vegetable oil make suitable substitutes.

What’s the purpose behind double frying?

The first lower temperature fry cooks potato interior to fluffy consistency. Second higher temperature fry browns exterior shell crispy so fries end perfectly cooked throughout.

Can you replicate shoestring fries without deep frying?

Yes, oven baked or air fried options mimic qualities fairly well though lack superior crunch from oil immersion. Still enjoyable!


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