How did this iconic dish evolve? South African Slap Chips!
Recipe type: Accompaniments
How iconic slap chips evolved and how to make them at home.
- Today’s episode is a request from Dawie Venter in Australia.
- South Africa’s iconic Slap Chips…. Spelled “slap” but pronounced “slup” were not invented by anyone in particular, but instead they evolved through a combination of bad staff training, laziness and the cost savings of running a fryer at lower temperatures.
- This may sound harsh, but something good did come from it…. Slap chips!
- The owners of the take-out establishments where slap chips evolved realised that running their chip fryers at lower temperatures of around 150c instead of the customary 180c, the oil would last much longer before denaturing and becoming unusable.
- To compound this issue, lazy or poorly trained staff would then overload the fryer with a full basket of cold chips instead of a half basket. The oil temperature would plummet to less than 100c, and the chips would boil in the oil instead of frying, for at east the first 5 minutes of the cooking process.
- This would effectively partially cook the chips, followed by very slow frying for another 10-15 minutes until the chips floated to the top of the oil indicating they were ready to remove. By the time the chips were cooked, the oil temperature was a mere 140-145c. The result was a whole new type of chip…. Slap chips… which were originally intended to be French fries.
- To achieve the same result at home, you don’t need to heat your oil to 150c, or cut a truck-load of chips to overload your fryer. Simply cut 4 medium potatoes into chips of about 12mm in thickness. This is intentionally thicker than a French fry, as slap chips to tend to fall apart if cut thinner than this. Place the chips in very cold water to keep them from discolouring. At this stage you can actually store your chips in the refrigerator for later.
- When you are ready to start frying your chips, dry the chips off with a dish towel, place the chips in your fryer basket and lower it into the cold oil. Turn on your fryer to maximum and let the process take its course.
- After about 5 minutes, the chips will start to boil in the oil. Notice I say boil, not fry, as the oil is not yet hot enough to cause any type of frying action. This will continue for a few minutes, after which the temperature of the oil will reach around 110c and the chips will start to fry very half-heartedly.
- Another few minutes and the frying will increase as the temperature nears 120c.
- After another few minutes, the chips will start to rise to the surface. The oil will be at approximately 140c – 145c in temperature, and the chips will only be slightly golden. They are ready to be removed from the oil.
- Add a generous sprinkling of white spirit vinegar and salt, and you’re ready to serve.
- If you don’t have a fryer at home, you can use a pot, or high side frying pan to achieve the same results as a fryer.
- Once again, thanks for watching, please like, subscribe and share this video, and we’ll see you again real soon.