Today is Chinese New Year, and officially the start of the year of the Rat! During this upcoming year of the rat, every Chinese zodiac sign is supposed to be prosperous - which is a great fortune for everyone.
My Chinese zodiac sign is a Fire Tiger. If you don't know what your sign is you can easily look up your Chinese zodiac sign on this website here. Growing up my mom was into astrology and read my horoscope to me most days, and she was also into Chinese astrology. While in traditional Western astrology I am a Pisces and relate to my sign very much, but I don't always relate to my daily horoscope. But, when I read my predictions for Fire Tiger - every year, I can relate to them. And I do believe that is what horoscopes are all about - believing is really most of it.
So, Chinese five spice has never been a foreign ingredient to me. If you don't know what it is, it is a blend of five spices: cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, and white pepper. It makes an amazing blend that can lend well to both sweet and savory dishes. I have a couple other recipes on the blog with this spice, including my Spiced Cranberry Carrot Bread and also my Christmas Sandwich Cookies.
I like to celebrate Chinese New Year whenever I can. Growing up, my mom always made a Chinese five spice shrimp stir fry. But I usually prefer to bake with Chinese five spice and have a Chinese Five Spice Snickerdoodle recipe I make frequently, which I should add to the blog (maybe next year). But, lately I've been out of my comfort zone and cooking more than usual (which you'll find out why in a few months). So this year I decided to make Chinese Five Spice Garlic French Fries. This versatile spice can be used in sweet or savory and it's amazing in both!
Chinese Five Spice Fries
Makes 4 servings
454 grams (1 pound) organic Russet potatoes
28 grams (2 tablespoons) organic coconut oil, melted
14 grams (2 tablespoons) organic cornstarch
1 teaspoon organic Chinese five spice (like Frontier Co-Op)
2 organic garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Cut potatoes into ¼-inch wide long strips. Place cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Soak for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil, cornstarch, Chinese five spice, and garlic.
Rinse and pat the sweet potatoes dry. Add them to the bowl with the coconut oil and spices and coat them completely. Lay potato strips out evenly on the parchment paper, do not overlap.
Bake for 20 minutes. Flip each fry over and cook for another 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
High Altitude – Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Flip each fry over and cook for another 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.