Potato phoenix nest

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Medium-sized white new potatoes, shredded
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
\N \N Oil for frying

A basket of golden potato shreds, called a Phoenix nest, makes a handsome presentation for almost any stir fried dish. After you eat the contents, you break the next apart with fingers and nibble. You can make one large next for a single entree or several small ones for individual servings. Because the nests are an open mesh, plan to fill them with a stir fried dish that has a light glaze rather than a heavy gravy. To make a Phoenix nest you need 2 sieves of the same size, one to act as a form and one to hold the shreds in place as they cook. To hold the cooking oil, use a deep pan or wok in which the sieves will fit comfortably. To determine how much oil to use, place an empty sieve in the pan, then pour in enough oil to cover at least ¾ of the sieve. Nests are made of potato, sweet potato or taro root. If made ahead, stack nests, separated by paper towels, and seal in a plastic bag. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Squeeze potato, by the handful, to eliminate liquid, then place in a bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch over potato and toss to distribute cornstarch evenly and loosen shreds. Arrange a handful of shreds inside one sieve in a latticework over the bottom and at least halfway up the side. Fit second sieve inside first. Heat oil to 325 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer, place sieve in pan, and cook nest until golden brown (about 3 or 4 minutes). Remove from oil and lift of top sieve. Loosen edge of nest with tip of a sharp knife, then gently remove nest and drain on paper towels. Makes 4 to 5 four inch nests.

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