16 Aug2012

It’s hard to improve on french fries. Personally, a freshly fried batch, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, sprinkled with sufficient salt and with lots of Heinz tomato ketchup to dip them into is near perfect snack food. Mrs. MM is a fries with mayonnaise kind of person. Others like fries sprinkled with vinegar. Yet others like it with mysteriously orange cheese powder. Or barbecue flavoring. One day at the office, I decided to fry up a batch of fries, using our own lard of course, and tossed them with salt and some “chicha dust” or finely chopped chicharon. OMG, this tasted pretty darned good! But better, if you took a plain french fry, dipped it into ketchup and into a small bowl with “chichadust”, it was HEAVENLY. The crew in the office wiped out a huge back of fries for merienda that day. :)

A few days later, at home, I didn’t have any pre-cut frozen french fries, so I sliced up some baby potatoes and deep-fried them in some vegetable oil. They weren’t as crisp as fries, but they had a charm all their own, skins and all. Next, I drizzled them with some truffle oil and sprinkled on “chichadust” and they were really yummy as well! I feel like this new word “chichadust” should be dedicated to Joey from the blog, “80breakfasts” as chicharon is one of her passions… But I wonder if such a dish, either just the plain fries with chichadust or the the much more arte version with truffle oil will find willing cusotmers. What do you think? Too much? :)



  1. madgwenny says:

    Heavenly or hellish as in sinful?

    Aug 16, 2012 | 5:12 pm


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  3. Pam says:

    Oooooh. Willing market. Very willing.

    Great innovation, MM! After all, fries is almost like rice. People mix it up w/ everything (w/ sundae, w/ curds like poutine, etc). Never thought of chicharon. Really interesting!

    Aug 16, 2012 | 5:38 pm

  4. Zerho says:

    1 order of french fries with chichadust and 1 order of maarteng french fries pls! This would be great beer partners.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 6:05 pm

  5. ConnieC says:

    For the” connoisuy”, yes, MM, but for me, simple and uncomplicated is good enough and as you say, it is really hard to improve on good french fries. The kids might tell you there can be too many “tastes” stimulating their taste buds, but of course there are always the others who may want the more maarte version.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 7:02 pm

  6. Betchay says:

    Too sinful! :) just lightly sprinkled salt and ketchup for me.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 7:21 pm

  7. Tim says:

    Brilliant idea!!! Masubukan nga. :)

    Aug 16, 2012 | 7:44 pm

  8. millet says:

    and i agree, this post is totally joey’s!

    Aug 16, 2012 | 8:08 pm

  9. EbbaBlue says:

    Same goes here… if you offer it in your resto – I will order both. Thanks; pwede po bang magaya ko ito this weekend? I have whole big bag of potatoes that went on sale for just $1.99, tanong ng hubby ko anong gagawin ko sa mga mga ito eh dadalawa lang kami. So, eto nga, just in time, french fries ala MM.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 8:18 pm

  10. niceyfemme says:

    I want my fries with vanilla ice cream… ;)

    Aug 16, 2012 | 9:11 pm

  11. MT says:

    Sinfully goooood, although I’m now more into sweet potato fries these days.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 9:43 pm

  12. proteinshake says:

    In my opinion, the truffle oil version will sell. But then again, I like things a bit “maarte”, LOL ! BTW – I just got back from Granville Island with 5 small boxes of truffle oil sea salt as part of gifts to some out of town family. What a coincidence that you posted on truffle oil.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 9:45 pm

  13. JE says:

    Fries and chips are fine by me, but I’m more partial to my potatoes mashed, or whole, or as potato skins.

    But really, you can’t beat freshly-made fries. They just go down the gullet so fast, no problem, what more with a bit of ketchup.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 10:03 pm

  14. Mari of NY says:

    I think the plain french fries with chichadust would appeal more to the masa than the one with truffle oil. Maybe occasionally you can offer the maarte version as part of the special for the day…

    Now I crave for Zubuchon…

    Aug 16, 2012 | 10:21 pm

  15. marilen says:

    ConnieC – thank you, I learned a new word today ‘connoisuy’ (ha, ha, gid)

    Aug 16, 2012 | 10:33 pm

  16. betty q. says:

    …with your deep fried baby potatoes, might as well deep fry some PATTED DRY tokwa while you are at it and fry them to a crisp….together with your chicharon topping, drizzle with some balsamic vinegar, and shallot crisps…that would be my maarte version! I call it PATOCHI (patatas, tokwa at chicharon). I don’t drink beer so it goes well with lemonade!

    Aug 17, 2012 | 12:27 am

  17. nina says:

    A lot of well-known chefs including Anthony B. believe that using truffle oil is totally an abhorrence bec. they’re mostly synthetic. I threw mine when I read the ingredients! I think a good fries do not need anything except one’s preferred dipping sauce i.e., vinegar/salt, ketchup, mayo, plain sea salt, etc.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 12:31 am

  18. Avid Thinker says:

    Looks yum, especially that I like chicharon so much! :=)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 12:43 am

  19. ConnieC says:

    bettyQ: I like your patochi idea. Much as we avoid anything fried these days, an indulgence would be nice, once in a while. Besides, I got hubby from 176 # down to 143# over the past year just on brown rice ( so filling and less tendency to overeat), eliminating processed foods and junk snackies and keeping to smaller portions and avoiding “makanin” na ulam. No more large bandehados on the table and using chopsticks to slow down the chowing.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 1:00 am

  20. betty q. says:

    Ebba…If you have so much potatoes….gumagawa ka ba ng perogies? If you don’t, I have a WICKEDLY UBER KILLER perogie recipe which I have tweaked to my liking for last 22 years! As with any perogie, it is labour intensive and this is where your daughters and apos come in to play! Once they taste it, they will hound you to make them so tell them since they are the ones who inhale the perogies like there is no tom….tulungan ka nila gumawa! Like MM’s FF, you can make it sosyal as well!

    Best part, Ebba…it is light on the tummy not like the packaged ones you by that sits in your stomach for days after you’ve eaten them! But the drawback…since it is light, mapapadami ang kain ninyo!

    Aug 17, 2012 | 1:07 am

  21. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Absolutely Brilliant!

    French Fries -> Pinoy Prize

    Aug 17, 2012 | 1:21 am

  22. betty q. says:

    Ms. Connie C….I consider my patochi healthy for it includes basic food groups….carbohydrates, protein and if you fry the pots in olive oil (healthy fat). If you top it with sour cream …you have your dairy! Then sprinkle with parsley or cilantro ..you have your vegetables! But you have to eat it with lemonade to include your fruit.

    There you go…healthy pulutan or snack!

    Aug 17, 2012 | 1:21 am

  23. zoi says:

    @bettyq, awesome ideas! i’ll try to do it at home.
    @MM, i am really a fan! will try this at home too!

    Aug 17, 2012 | 1:58 am

  24. EbbaBlue says:

    Ms. BettyQ, I do fry my tofu (cut into small blocks), and then sprinkle it with cilantro and balsamic vinegar. My hubby and I don’t drink, pero we do this tofu thing once in a while, and I have to admit..hihihi… sometimes with chicken skins chicharon… which I cut into strips…When I fry them, I add about 3 heads of garlic directly to the oil. And for topping, roasted dry onion cutlets.

    10 lbs. yung bag of potatoes ko, minsan nga yung baby potatoes naman (5 lbs) eh $.99 lang. I buy 3 or 4 bags, and then I give them away.

    Yes, please send me the recipe for perogie. (EbbaBlue@att.net) Thanks ulit.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 2:22 am

  25. kristin says:

    YUM.YUM.YUM. hah! french fries in lard with chicharon dust..you just made my mouth water even after having heavy dinner.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 2:30 am

  26. hannah says:

    MM anything goes with fries…be it just plain salt, vinegar, dip it in ketchup, mayo or ketchup with mayo and your truffle oil (would like to try this truffle oil thing). you’re not the only who’s thinking to dress it up a notch…=) Say “poutine” — who would have thought that adding cheese curds and gravy on your fries would be a hit. That’s why i like new york fries poutine (fooling myself into thinking that it’s a healthier version because they don’t peel the skin…YUM!!!), they also have a chili version or the “works” i think that’s what they call it…

    @ ms. bettyq…would it be possible if you could share your perogie recipe? thanks in advance!

    Aug 17, 2012 | 2:40 am

  27. betty q. says:

    Ebba…must warn you…make perogie making day on a cloudy day at kung hindi…papawisan ang mga kili kili ninyo sa init ng panahon ngayon! I can just imagine the temp. there now in TX. I just did some weeding and watered my tomato pants and must have stayed out in the backyard for only 5 to 10 minutes. Had to go back inside the house at tumutulo ang pawis ko!

    Hannah and Trini…you do now that I readily oblige people’s requests for how to make this and that. If you can bear with me for a few days for my right hand is in a brace right now and very difficult to type with left hand only. Once I can get out the recipe to Ebba, siya na lang kaya ang magtype. WISDOM TOOTH calls me at home and I dictate recipes to her over the phone . Kaya Ebba…tatawagan na lang kita maybe on the week-end! I will dictate the perogie recipe to you as well including tricks of the trade.

    Trini, et al…Tuscan salmon sardine recipe coming soon (I hope!).

    Aug 17, 2012 | 3:14 am

  28. Stewart L. Sy says:

    That looks sooo good! Though I do have to say, the best french fries I’ve tried were at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Restaurant in Yountville, CA. The fries were twice cooked in duck fat and sprinkled with truffle dust! Pretty darn pricey but oh so good!

    Having tried the Zubu-chicharon when I was in Cebu 2 month ago..this version will be a contender!


    Aug 17, 2012 | 3:24 am

  29. EbbaBlue says:

    Cge, Cge payag ako, at kahit na ako ang tumawag, ok rin… pero at your convenience.. Ms. Madame BettyQ. At ako rin yung salmon sardines… yeah, yeah…

    Salamat mo marilag na lakambini. (I saw your pictures and I felt more closer to you kasi I have a face na ng babaeng napaka-mapagbigay). Thanks ulit.

    Sabi ko kasi sa iyo, high kick na lang ang gamitin mo, imagine mo naman na gumamit ka ng upper cut. Yan tuloy… naka-brace ka, kung pwede lang malagyan ng authograph.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 3:46 am

  30. GerryT says:

    Ayy sarap naman! Its like elevating french fries triple the notch which will make me want to eat it everyday he he he . Ty MM for sharing . :D
    @ ms betty q : I’m a fan of yours maam .I was reading BUSOG SARAP food blogger and she mentioned you and MM thats were it all started. when I check MM food blog i check comments all the time to look for you as I always learn something new. Ty as well … =)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 4:11 am

  31. misao says:

    Ms. Betty Q, I’ve tried most of your recipes almost as often as I would MM’s and I would love to have that perogie recipe as well! I’ve yet to try something I like. Puro store-bought yung nakakain ko e. Nobody makes them in the family kaya I’d love to be the first one to try. And with your recipe and tips, I’m sure masarap yan!


    Aug 17, 2012 | 4:46 am

  32. brownedngat says:

    Oh my. Your most wicked post so far (-:

    Aug 17, 2012 | 5:15 am

  33. PITS, MANILA says:

    another novelty for me, MM! will try your recipe the next time we crave for home-made fries …

    Aug 17, 2012 | 7:11 am

  34. ami says:

    I’m also a fries & mayo kind of girl but this version with chicharon is absolutely divine. :)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 7:52 am

  35. HRH WQ says:

    OMG MM! This is insane!! Sa title pa lang, mapapasigaw ka ng “Pass me the bowl and a bottle of Lipitor!!” Looks yummy!! What a great idea!! Wicked, wicked, wicked nga!! (drool)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 8:04 am

  36. Cecile says:

    hay grabe na yan! temptation to the max! cholesterol overload! hahaha! sana magkaroon na ng Zubuchon dito sa Metro Manila! :)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 8:25 am

  37. K says:

    Make both options available at regular price, then additional charge for truffle oil :)
    Or, make it part of your “secret menu” (um, yes, commenting about it doesn’t make it much of a secret, but you get what I mean…) :D Sebastian’s ice cream has a blue cheese ice cream drizzled with Palawan honey and walnuts, but their secret menu substitutes truffle honey for an additional charge.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 8:40 am

  38. Clarissa says:

    only reaction that comes to mind is oohhhhmyyyy.
    i shall be making this soon. i cannot not make it. insane.

    and yes, heinz. perfect ketchup for the fries.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 9:07 am

  39. tipat says:

    You had me at the chicharon dust.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 10:33 am

  40. Dodi says:

    Yum Yum Yum!!! Off topic MM, but I would just like to say thank you very much for the RH stickers you sent through the mail. Stickers now on car windows of friends as well! Salamat!

    Aug 17, 2012 | 11:03 am

  41. jakbkk says:

    just wondering where can you buy truffles in Manila and how much? same for truffle oil? i’ve never tasted it but since we love eating pasta at home, am willing to give it a try. thanks.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 12:12 pm

  42. Ed B. says:

    That dish is so sinister and will be the (figurative) death of a lot of people, me included. I’d pay for fries with chichadust, but I’d skip the truffle oil. In food blogs from the US I always read how great fries cooked in duck fat is, so your take on fries can be the equivalent pinoy version of sorts. And you should copyright the term chichadust, if you were the first one to come up with it. ;-)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 1:14 pm

  43. bakerwannabe says:

    @Bettyq, thanks for the coming sardines recipe. paki include na rin yung perogi. Salamat na marami.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 3:28 pm

  44. Marketman says:

    bakerwannabe and other bettyq fans waiting for the salmon sardine recipe… I am going to test it before I post, so I can give tips, etc. for all. Ed B., trademark chichadust, yes, along with 50 other things… frankly, I don’t mind if others use the chichadust idea, the internet will establish the date it was first used. It’s not like folks haven’t been putting crumbled chicharon on other dishes like pancit palabok, etc… :) jakbkk, as others mentioned above, there are varying qualities of truffle oil, many of them synthetically created. But GOOD truffle oils should range from PHP1000-3,000+ for a small to medium sized bottle. The less expensive stuff has dubious ingredients, but if used for fries and other less sensitive ingredients, it will provide the aroma and some of the taste that real truffle oil might provide. You can also explore truffle salts, etc. Real truffles are wickedly expensive. We once made several truffle lechon de leches using a truffle paste that was 98% black truffle remnants or clippings and 2% olive oil, then some good truffle oil and good truffle salt. And the lechons ended up costing close to PHP10,000 each. Ran out of the truffle paste and haven’t done those lechons since. I know that sounds like an outrageous extravagance. And I agree. Dodi and the 35+ others that requested stickers, you are welcome! Now there should be another 200+ cars with the stickers on them driving around several cities in the country! :) To those who mentioned duck or goose fat… I have used it for potatoes and it is ABSOLUTELY SUBLIME. But at 10x the cost of our homemade lard, it is pricey. Fries made with really good lard are several notches ABOVE those made in in vegetable oil, and delicious, but a couple of notches down from using duck fat. :) Stewart, yes, double cooking an absolute must-do for french fry addicts. nina, yes, I have written about bad truffle oil before. However, my stance has softened a bit for use in dishes as an accent along with other ingredients. For the best truffle experience, nothing beats shaved truffles in abundace. A truffle shaver next on my list of single use implements. :)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 6:09 pm

  45. EbbaBlue says:

    MM, on your last comment… ayyyyy… I am sliding off my office chair. Eto at wala pa akong breakfast at 6:50am, somehow I wanted some fries….ayyyyyyy.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 7:56 pm

  46. MP says:

    Just the post I needed to read after that depressing Tito Sotto speech at the Senate and Headstart feature! Fries and chicharon will really cure all and any type of depression….

    Bettyq I think Hubby will love the patochi so they shall be served soon.. I’d really be st*pid if i mess those up, right? Btw, what are perogies?

    Aug 17, 2012 | 8:31 pm

  47. Papa Ethan says:

    I noticed that none of the comments mentioned the issue of the KIND of potatoes that are ideal for french fries. To my limited understanding, a particular variety is best suited for this, but unfortunately the local (i.e., Philippine) supply is cornered by the fast food giants. So, the everyday potato (not sure what variety it is) available in the markets/supermarkets is actually more suited for beef nilaga, etc. due to its high moisture retention properties and therefore ill-suited for french fries. Did you have any particular choice of potato for this experiment, MM?

    Aug 17, 2012 | 10:07 pm

  48. Marketman says:

    Papa Ethan, I think you are referring to Idaho Russets? I don’t really do these with local potatoes, buy the good quality grcoery frozen ones that do come from the U.S. and are most likely made of russet potatoes…

    Aug 17, 2012 | 10:54 pm

  49. betty q. says:

    Here, MM…Kennebec potatoes are widely used for FF.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 11:01 pm

  50. Myra says:

    Anything that is fried and crispy is divine.

    Aug 17, 2012 | 11:16 pm

  51. betty q. says:

    Oh…I forgot, MM…for the salmon, after rinsing, really PAT DRY …very dry the salmon chunks. I use wads of paper towels! When the processing begins and if there is still a water left in the fish, the heat causes it release the water and then combine with the protein molecules causing it to coagulate on the bottom of the jar. Nothing wrong with it but I like a clear product on the bottom of the jar.The chorizo….I add one slice to release the color making it more appealing and not anemic looking jar contents. Basil, I add about 2 large leaves para mabango! The screw on rings on the jar…as tight as you can. When the pressure starts to build up in the jar, if the rings are not screwed on tightly, the pressure will cause the olive oil or the liquid to leak out of the jar. You can smell it even while it is being processed.

    Best to leave it alone after processing and once it has cooled down in the pantry for 4 days before you open a jar….mas masarap!

    Aug 17, 2012 | 11:22 pm

  52. hannah says:

    @bettyq…looking forward to that recipe (perogies) of yours…I’m sorry about your hand. I hope you’ll get better soon! I’ve tried some of your recipes too, even your tips and techniques. I always look forward to your comment because I learn something new everyday…Thanks again!

    Aug 18, 2012 | 12:19 am

  53. nina says:

    MM, we’ll be in truffle country (Croatia) late Sept., let me know if you want me to look for a truffle shaver. Would be very easy to ship it to Sis (am here in NJ) or can bring it when I visit Manila in 2 months.

    Aug 18, 2012 | 1:45 am

  54. jheng says:

    i prefer the classic lightly salted fries with tomato ketchup but i wouldn’t mind trying the maarte and chicadusted versions at least twice. :)

    Aug 18, 2012 | 9:49 am

  55. Papa Ethan says:

    MM, thanks for the info. I guess i’ll read up some more about potatoes. Our government once had a program wherein the potato growers of Benguet were given this imported variety (for french fries) to propagate specifically for the fast food industry. Unfortunately even the organized farmer cooperatives couldn’t simply keep up with the daily volume that was required. I can’t remember the exact number now, but that amount is astounding! You wouldn’t believe how much french fries pinoys consumed on a daily basis.

    Aug 18, 2012 | 10:53 am

  56. dianne says:

    hope this would already be on the zubuchon menu when i go back to cebu ;)

    Aug 18, 2012 | 10:56 am

  57. betty q. says:

    Ebba…tried to send you e-mail 3x but it bounced back.

    Aug 18, 2012 | 1:56 pm

  58. EbbaBlue says:

    Ms. Betty, sorry – AT&T at fault. Please try this one instead: emt_n2jc@yahoo.com or bluetyr@att.net. And when I get your email, I will give you my office one. Thanks. And again, sorry.

    Aug 19, 2012 | 11:27 am

  59. JB says:

    French fries with chicha dust and truffle oil?! These look awesome!

    Aug 25, 2012 | 1:28 am

  60. Sandy says:

    I love truffle fries, pero the chichadust would take it to a whole other level. Masarap din ang fries with melting crumbled blue cheese on top (dagdagan pa kaya ng chichadust! Mmmmm!) I can’t handle lactose pero titiisin ko kung ganito kasarap. :)

    And to BettyQ, I am another one who is eagerly awaiting your salmon sardine recipe. Hope your hand heals quickly!

    Aug 26, 2012 | 8:09 am

  61. Carol says:

    Betty q and ebba blue. Paki share din Ng recipe with meeeh. Will do it while on maternity leave para ok Lang mapawisan ang kilikili hahaha.

    Aug 28, 2012 | 2:39 pm

  62. Jonathan says:

    Here I thought french fries were unhealthy enough;) Is chicharron a common flavor for snacks in the Philippines? For example, would potato chip flavors include lechon and chicharron? Is there a pancit with either of these tastes as well?

    Although I’ve been to Manila a couple of times, I forgot to check at the 7-11s and wherever else! Is chicharron a common street food item? Any vendors selling a cross between Puerto Rican and Filipino food?!

    Sep 6, 2012 | 12:40 am


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