Fried potato balls at Yunnan Kitchen — nothing quite like them has ever been seen before, and they are transcendantly yummy!
You think you’ve experienced all the potato variations that exist in the world: French fries, baked potatoes, curly fries, ‘tater tots, potato chips, hash browns, etc., etc. Then something unique comes along, from Lower East Side regional Chinese newcomer Yunnan Kitchen.
Fried Potato Balls are little orbs, about the size of a marble. The inside is light and fluffy, as if made from mashed potatoes. The dipping sauce of dark soy sauce, vinegar, and chopped shallots (our guess as to what’s in it) knocks these little satellites into orbit.
Really, they’re quite addictive. The balls are apparently a specialty of the Dai tribe, one of the many ethnicities that contribute to Yunnan cooking, a cuisine heavily influenced by Southeast Asian fare on one hand, and Sichuanese on the other. Certainly, these potato balls look an awful lot like common fish balls, which are often shaped in the same way, then fried and dipped in a soy sauce mixture.
But who cares what the antecedents are when a light and delectable new form of spud looms on the horizon?
79 Clinton Street
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 24, 2012