Cumin Potatoes (Vegan/Vegetarian!)

If you love lots of spice, you’ll love these Cumin Potatoes! Anyone looking for “meat and potatoes” will find that even though this is a vegan dish, it’s a “meaty” one that’s perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

The Flavor of Xi’An, China

Many of you may be familiar with Cumin Lamb, and this dish is inspired by the perfect blend of spices and aromatics from that dish, but with pan-fried potatoes instead. We first discovered it on the streets of Xi’An, at a street food night market, where cooks were frying things in woks set over what looked like enormous oil drums and other makeshift chimney-like cooktops. 

Cumin Potatoes in Xi'An, thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes in Xi'An, thewoksoflife.com

Xi'An Muslim Street Food, thewoksoflife.comXi'An Muslim Street Food, thewoksoflife.com

In this case, I used little young potatoes because not only are they really cute, they’re perfectly bite-sized. I will say they are a little expensive, so you can also use regular potatoes. Just thickly slice them (about ¼-inch thick) and skip the step of “smashing” to save a couple of bucks. Though if you are using sliced potatoes, you must pan-fry both sides to get a crisp crust. This prevents the slices from falling away and turning into a cumin potato hash.

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

What to Serve These Potatoes With

So what do you serve these cumin potatoes with? You know us––we eat rice with everything, and carbs on carbs is never a problem! Heck, we even serve rice with steaks. Okay, so I’m poking fun, but the recommendation stands! But if you’re not into carb loading, these potatoes would be a great accompaniment for meatloaf, other roast meats, or a steak dinner.

So skip the mashed potatoes, and give these Cumin Potatoes a try!   

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Cumin Potatoes: Recipe Instructions

Boil the potatoes in a pot of water for 15 minutes or until cooked through. When a fork goes through without any resistance, they’re ready.

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Drain and cool slightly before using the flat side of a large knife to lightly flatten them enough so that the skin breaks open, but each potato is still intact. Don’t over-press, or they’ll crumble!  

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a flat-bottomed non-stick pan or cast iron skillet. Lightly brown the potatoes on both sides. You can skip this step if you are short on time. Just know that browning gives the potatoes a more roasted taste and robust flavor.

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Heat the last 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in your wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 cloves minced garlic, and the diced onion. Cook for about a minute, until the onion turns translucent.

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Next, add the potatoes, 2 teaspoons light soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, a tablespoon of water, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and a dash of crushed chili flakes to taste.

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Gently stir using a wok spatula to coat the potatoes in the spices. Salt to taste, and add the scallion and cilantro. Gently mix everything well one more time before transferring to a serving dish.  

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Just like that, another vegan/vegetarian dish to add to your rotation. Who needs meat when you have a “meaty” dish like these Cumin Potatoes?

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

Of course, these flavorful cumin potatoes can also be enjoyed as a side dish.

Cumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.comCumin Potatoes, by thewoksoflife.com

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