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Spud Sunday: The Mystery Trail

It was an evening like any other.

I was meandering home down the dimly-lit side street, lost in thought, when something caught my eye and I halted. I looked down and could see, around and ahead of me, potato skins mysteriously scattered along the pavement. I glanced around furtively, a Poirot-like curiosity awakened, but could spy no shred of other vegetable matter in the vicinity.

For twenty or so yards, I followed the trail of distinctive pinky-red rooster peelings and stopped at a shabby green doorway. I imagined some unfortunate Hansel or Gretel, compelled to leave behind an identifiable trail, but were those peels leading away from that door or leading me, La Spud, to it?

I scurried on, the mystery unsolved. For days afterward, the trail remained and I wondered about it each time I passed.

Potato peels

Where do you go to, my lovelies?

While I will probably never know the truth about those potato peels, I did get to pondering the usual fate of a potato’s skin. Sometimes eaten but, more often than not, cast aside – if not, inexplicably, on the pavement, then onto the compost heap or into the bin it goes.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

So it was that the next time I found myself wielding a potato peeler, I thought about putting the newly liberated peelings to better use. While the spuds themselves morphed into mash, their peels were shredded, fried and the two reunited to give the mash a new, crispy crown. It was like they were always meant to be together, no mystery about it.

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Fried Potato Peels

Fried potato peels

This is such a simple idea, it barely needs a formal recipe, beyond the instructions to shred the potato peels, fry until crispy and apply as a garnish.

It does, of course, assume that you are, at the same time, making some other potato dish (such as mash) which involves first peeling your spuds.

You’ll need:

  • potato peelings (from potatoes which have first been scrubbed clean)
  • olive oil or bacon fat
  • pinch of salt

You’ll also need:

  • A frying pan, large enough to accommodate the shredded potato peels

The Steps:

  • Gather together your potato peelings and slice them very finely (to a width of 1-2mm) using a sharp knife.
  • Place your frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add olive oil to coat the pan (or use bacon fat if you prefer).
  • Add the shredded potato peels and a pinch of salt – they should start sizzling straight away. Don’t crowd the pan too much, as you want the peels to fry, not steam, so if you have a large amount of peels, you might want to fry them in batches.
  • Fry the potato peels, stirring occasionally, until crispy, probably around 6-8 minutes, though it will depend somewhat on how thinly the potatoes were peeled to begin with. Drain on kitchen paper and apply as a garnish at will.

The Variations:

  • You can, of course, add some flavourings to the peels as you fry them, perhaps some whole cumin seeds or a little crushed garlic, or whatever else takes your fancy.

The Results:

  • A crispy potato garnish for your mash where, before, there was none.


  1. Aoife Mc

    You are SO CLEVER!!!

    I’m trying this ASAP.

  2. Daily Spud

    Hey Aoife, not sure if it’s cleverness or just an unnatural obsession with spuds :D

  3. Farlo J

    You know you’ve read a good post when you find yourself at the end, slapping your hand against your head while saying, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!’

  4. Michelle

    You have an incredible way of making me want to devour potatoes every time I stop by. You have succeeded once again.

  5. An American in Ireland

    This is truly a profound discovery and gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘Waste not, want not.’ I love the idea of using the whole spud, skins and all. Such a great idea…

  6. Daily Spud

    Farlo J: I was slapping my own head in a similar way when I thought of it!

    Michelle: why thank you, that makes it all worthwhile :)

    An American in Ireland: it feels a bit profound Clare and I definitely had the phrase ‘waste not, want not’ spinning around my head as I was writing this

  7. Gloria

    OMG!!! I always save my potato and other vegetable peelings for making vegetable broth. However I never peel potatoes for baking because I love the crunchiness of oven baked spuds, so this sounds like it’s right up my alley. I would never have thought to fry the peels but you can bet I will now. Thanks so much for a great idea.

  8. Daily Spud

    You’re welcome Gloria, enjoy! And thanks so much for taking the time to stop by.

  9. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme

    What a fantastic idea! I can hardly wait to try this next time I make a garlic mash.

  10. Daily Spud

    Hope you like it Lana!

  11. Chef E

    I am amazed every time I come over here! I think my mom used to do this. She always told us the vitamins were in the skins! Now that I know she was right, I feel sort of bad feeding them to Brownie…so sad…

  12. Daily Spud

    Well I bet Brownie enjoys ’em, Chef E, lol!

  13. Tangled Noodle

    Oooo, what a wonderful idea! I’ve had ‘potato skins’ appetizers, but they’re really a kind of baked potato. These truly make use of what I discard without another thought when making mashed, scalloped or other spud. I need to find a good scrub brush and make some crispy, crunch potato peels!

  14. Daily Spud

    Ah yes, TN, these are different to what you might get as a potato skins appetiser (though nothing wrong with those either!) – and of course I’m always happy to provide you with yet another way to get the most out of your spuds!

  15. Aoife Carrigy

    How very genius of you Aoife! Loving your work. Aoife C.

  16. Daily Spud

    Thanks Aoife, appreciate you dropping by to say so.

  17. Lysle Basinger

    I sat watching a lady peel potatoes today at a bar, and realized that the peelings would make a great low carb dish. She gave them to me, and I cooked fried them in a pan with bacon grease and sea salt. What a delicacy for a low carber!

  18. Mackie

    I tried except I used whole slice instead of cutting it, is amazing it tastes just like French fries except better and healthier!! Amazing, I also added bacon bits! Mmmmm…!

  19. Niamh Cleary

    If you want to know what they taste like deep fried…. think of Potato wedges or french fries…

    Mmm…. yum! Love potato skins!

  20. Daily Spud

    Good to know, Niamh!

  21. Lisa

    Found my way here looking for a way to make fried baked potato slices. A restaurant I go to takes day old baked potatoes, slices them and fries them somehow. Not sure if they are deep fried or what. They are crunchy and golden on the outside and soft on the inside. Yum. Does anyone know exactly how to make these or heard of them?

  22. Daily Spud

    Hi Lisa, I haven’t heard specifically of fried baked potato slices, though I can imagine what they’re like. Not sure I can help much, other than to speculate that the slices of cooled, baked potato are probably deep fried. Have you tried asking the folks in the restaurant how they make them? They might be happy to share the method with you.

  23. Sean Butterworth

    Love the idea of using them as garnish – takes bangers and mash to another level! One could also use them in a breakfast fry-up, sort of like deconstructed hash browns…

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