Shoestring Fries

published Sep 26, 2021
Shoestring Fries Recipe

These petite French fries are crunchy, crispy, and, most importantly, a family favorite.

Serves4 to 6

Prep40 minutes

Cook1 hour 10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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a pile of shoestring fries on a plate with ketchup
Credit: Laura Rege

Bring back the nostalgia of school lunches by making homemade shoestring fries. Thinner than traditional french fries and crisp from the outside to center, shoestring fries are more akin in texture to a perfect chip. And adults and children alike absolutely love their petite size.

How to Make Shoestring Fries

To achieve the perfect level of crispiness, you don’t need a fancy frying method — a quick dip in hot oil will do. Here are our top tips for safely making the best shoestring fries at home.

  • Choose the right potatoes: For optimal fry length, select medium or large potatoes for nice long shoestrings.
  • Use a mandoline: For a nice consistent size, which ensures each fry crisps and turns golden in the same amount of time, use a mandoline to cut the fries. If you don’t have a mandoline, don’t worry: You can cut by hand if you’re up for a little extra time at the cutting board.
  • Soak the fries: To prevent the fries from sticking while frying and to promote extra crispiness, soak the cut fries in cold water to remove excess starch.
  • Dry them well: For safe frying and, again, crispiness, make sure to dry the potatoes well before submerging them in the oil. Excess water will cause the oil to bubble up and splatter.
  • Use a thermometer: Keep the oil temperature around 350°F and use a candy or deep-fry thermometer to ensure that the oil isn’t getting too hot or too cool. If you don’t have a thermometer, or just prefer to go by visual cues instead, test to see if the oil is ready by dropping in a fry. It should start to sizzle when it’s good to go. The oil is too hot if the fry immediately turns brown or browns too quickly. It should be a nice, slow progression to golden and crisp.
  • Use a large pot: Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed large pot and work in smaller batches. The deep sides will help contain any splatters and bubbles.

How to Cut Shoestring Fries

A mandoline is a handy tool for cutting shoestring fries fast — just make sure to use a guard or proceed carefully, as mandolines are very sharp. Cutting them by hand is also possible; it’s OK if they’re not 100% even.

Credit: Laura Rege

Best Dipping Sauces and Toppings

If a sauce works for french fries or chips, it works for shoestring fries. Try the classic ketchup or mayonnaise, or a flavored mayonnaise like chipotle. Top the fries with fresh herbs, Parmesan, truffle oil, or spices. 

Shoestring Fries Recipe

These petite French fries are crunchy, crispy, and, most importantly, a family favorite.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound)

  • 4 cups

    vegetable oil, for deep frying

  • 3 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • Kosher salt


  1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut 2 medium russet potatoes lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick planks. Stack a few planks and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch wide matchsticks. Place in a large bowl and cover by a few inches with cold water. Let soak 30 minutes.

  2. Drain the potatoes, then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as possible.

  3. Heat 4 cups vegetable oil over medium-high until 350°F. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet, or cover the baking sheet with paper towels. Pick the leaves from 3 fresh parsley sprigs and finely chop.

  4. Working with a handful of potatoes at a time, add to the pot and cook, stirring with a spider or slotted spoon a few times, until golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Using the spider or slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet and season with kosher salt. Repeat frying the potatoes. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Frying tips: Any excess moisture on the potatoes will cause the oil to bubble up which can be dangerous. Drying the potatoes well with a towel is key, as is using a large pot and working in small batches.