How to make papas arrugadas or canarian potatoes
Papas arrugadas. They may look like they’re just potatoes with more wrinkles than Mick Jagger and a salt crust on top, but … No, wait a minute, it’s true. The recipe boils down to potatoes and salt (ho-ho!). Some daring souls throw in a squirt of lemon juice, but I suspect that’s because they’re embarrassed to list a “recipe” with just two ingredients.
Yet Papas arrugadas or crumpled potatoes, taste better than they look.
The story behind Papas Arrugadas
If the Spaniards Conquistadores On the way home from South America, they brought the humble potato with them and made a pit stop in the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa. The islanders took these pebble-sized potatoes and invented this deceptively simple dish.
Traditionally, you cook the papas in salt water instead of fresh, as fresh water is hard to come by on a small volcanic island.
But not only the recipe connects with South America. It is also the language. You hear the word in the Canary Islands Papas for potatoes instead of the Pataten from mainland Spain.
How do papas arrugadas taste?
When served well, papas arrugadas have a hefty bite with a surprisingly grumpy, sweet and salty taste. The potatoes are usually served in earthenware Mojo – a spicy sauce made from paprika (Mojo Rojo) and coriander (Mojo Verde) or. Both contain vinegar and a hint of garlic to bring the dish to life.
But how do you make these Canarian potatoes? Here comes the recipe for boiled potatoes that tastes better than it sounds …
How to make papas arrugadas: the recipe
The Canarian recipe for wrinkled potatoes – with mojo
When it comes to a decent Canarian potato recipe, choose good quality small potatoes (bigger than new, smaller than bake). For the absolutely authentic Papas Arrugadas con Mojo experience, you need either Papas Negra from Tenerife or Papas Bonita from Gran Canaria.
But to be honest, any small potato will do. New potatoes are also forgivable.
How to cook Canarian potatoes:
- Put them in a pan, pour water on them, but do not cover them completely
- Throw in plenty of salt (recipes vary from salt water to several teaspoons. Experiment. Unless of course you have high blood pressure.)
- Cook until tender when you pierce them with a knife
- Now for the tricky part … drain the water but keep cooking over low heat until the skin is wrinkled and salt crystals appear. Keep them moving or they’ll burn …
- Take these wonderfully boiled boiled potatoes and serve them hot with a cold mojo sauce. Salud!
Serve with mojo sauce
Pronounced MOh-ho, Mojo is the best part of this whole Papas Arrugadas ensemble. It’s the ginger, wasabi, and soy that match vegetable sushi.
In the Canary Islands, you will hear people talking mostly about green mojo (mojo verde) and red mojo (mojo rojo), but the truth is, you will find more flavors and mojo recipes than you will have time in your life.
Most mojos are based on garlic, vinegar and olive oil, with red or green chillies, bell peppers, cumin and coriander mixed in.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own by grinding the dry spices in a pestle and mortar and whisking the rest in a blender with enough oil and vinegar. The consistency should be faster than normal ketchup, but not quite as fluffy as a French salad dressing.
Or, of course, the simpler option is to buy a few glasses, either at the airport or at Order mojo online when at home.
Also take a look at our Food Guide for Tenerife!
More about traveling in the Canary Islands
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