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Bento Recipes: Microwave Potato Chips

 
   
 

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Feeling chipperMicrowave potato chips. Chips that start out as a potato in your hand and involve not one drop of hot, splattery oil. It's a dream come true, isn't it? But all this can be yours if the price is right! The price you pay for the chip maker, that is. I got mine, a "ringu de chippu," on eBay for $12, shipping from Japan included. At any given time you can see a bunch of these things by searching eBay for "microwave chip maker." Some of them have spaces to only make about two dozen chips at a time; mine has a larger capacity.

Since the instructions were in Japanese, I Googled around to find out how to use it. First, get you a tater. A small russet is good. Wash it, peel it if you're a wimp who is scared of potato peel, then slice it paper thin. If you bought a chip ring, chances are a cheap slicer came with it. Otherwise... I don't know, maybe a large vegetable peeler would work.

Microwave potato chipsDump the slices in cold water and slosh them around to get rid of excess starch. Drain, then pour about a tablespoon of vegetable oil over them and mix them around good to coat the slices. Add a little salt while mixing if you want salted chips.

Put the chip ring on a microwave-safe plate, then stick slices of potato in the little slots. Put the whole shebang in the microwave and run it at full power. How long? That depends on how powerful your microwave is, how thick the potatoes are sliced, and how many are in the chip maker. For the batch above I did an initial run of 6 minutes, then added 30-minute bursts until the chips were starting to brown, which is how you tell if they're done. (If they don't brown they don't get crispy.) I think it was about 8 minutes, all told, but I've found that the time does vary. Better to undershoot and then cook some more than to burn 'em.

When it's done take the ring & plate out of the microwave and put the chips into a bowl. Since the chips wilt during cooking and get all curly, as you see above, some of them may not want to come out, so you may have to break a few. Never fear, they taste just as good.

Variations: You can chip different things in this ring. The packaging shows kabocha and lotus root chips. I've tried lotus root, using the same directions as above, and it turned out pretty nifty. Sweet potato chips turned out awesome. I also tried sweet plantain, which did not work as well because they melted out of the maker and onto the plate, and then stuck together and hardened because of the sugar content.  Tasted great, but not what I was looking for in a chip. I'll try it with a green plantain next.