Ultrasonic French Fries

Love french fry? You ain't tasted nothin' yet! Research chefs have inveted a new way of cooking fries that supposedly made them taste so much better. The secret? A little ultrasonic wave:

Maxime Bilet, Johnny Zhu and the other research chefs (including Young) at our culinary lab in Belle­vue, Wash., explored a variety of techniques for doing better still. The winning combination is simple in its ingredients but quite fancy in its execution. The potato batons are vacuum-sealed with 2 percent salt brine in bags to keep them intact during boiling. They are then bombarded with intense sound waves from the same device that dentists and jewelers use. A lengthy ultrasound treatment at 40 kilohertz causes the surface of each fry to crack and blister with myriad tiny bubbles and fissures.

The cook next vacuum-dries the pretreated potato sticks to adjust the water content of the exterior and then briefly blanches them in oil at 340 degrees Fahrenheit to tighten their network of interlaced starch molecules. After cooling comes the final step: a quick plunge into hot oil at 375 degrees F. Water flashes to steam inside each minuscule bubble on the surface of the fries, expanding in volume by a factor of more than 1,000 and forcing the bubbles to puff up. In just a few minutes of deep frying, the french fries take on an almost furry appearance.


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