This Is The Best Way To Boil Potatoes

Potato experts know better.

IMAGE Shutterstock

Beyond rice, potatoes are probably the next most eaten carb. It's the vegetable used in French fries, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and even in a number of our ulam recipes such as menudo, kaldereta, and nilagang baka

However, did you know that you might be cooking your potatoes wrong? If you add potatoes to boiling hot soup or a simmering sauce, chances are you can overcook the potatoes that start to disintegrate before the centers are tender. 

That's because the potatoes are starchy vegetables that love to absorb water. Absorb too much and the result is watery, soggy potatoes or gummy and sticky potatoes instead of tender bites.  

What is the best way to boil potatoes? 

No matter how the potatoes are prepared, in chunks, slices, or left whole, there is one universal truth about boiling potatoes: always scrub potatoes before preparing. After preparing the potatoes, you can start cooking.     

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According to the Idaho Potato Commission, the best (and recommended) way of cooking potatoes is in cold water. Cold water is best used at the beginning which is then brought up to a boil. 

According to America's Test Kitchen, Andy Baraghani of Bon Appetit, and even Alton Brown, adding potatoes to cold water before bringing it up to a boil will ensure that the potatoes cook evenly without the outside breaking apart before the center is cooked through. This makes the best kind of mashed potatoes that isn't watery and potato salads where the chunks actually keep their shape and stay intact as you toss them vigorously with the dressing.  

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So, how do you cook menudo, kaldereta, nilaga, and all the other recipes that call for potatoes in the dish? The trick is usually to partially cook the potatoes before adding these into the final dish.    

Here are potato recipes to try after successfully boiling the spuds:

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1 Truffle Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Mashed potatoes are already pretty luscious all on its own, so when you add the essence of a decadent mushroom such as truffle to the mix, you get a much more flavorful, aromatic, and addictive mash that you'll want to eat all on its own.   

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Photo by Michael Angelo Chua

2 Herb Roasted Potatoes Recipe     

This potato dish is delicious! These may be roasted but you can skip the oven and use freshly boiled potatoes instead. The flavor will stay fresh longer especially if you toss the hot potatoes in the herbed oil. The infused potatoes will be fantastic! 

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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

3 Mashed Potatoes Casserole Recipe    

Chockful of creamy mashed potatoes, this is topped with flaky puff pastry and baked until golden brown and delicious. Spoon this onto your plate with roast beef slices or a quarter part of roasted chicken for a satisfying meal.

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Photo by Majoy Siason
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4 Potato-Topped Mac and Cheese Pie Recipe       

Making mac and cheese tasty is easy. What if you want to take it over the top? In this version of the shepherd's pie, instead of just topping the meat filling with mashed potatoes, an added layer of mac and cheese pasta lies between the meat and the potatoes. This gives your mashed potato topping some delicious cheesy flavor. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.


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