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Weekend Chef: Hand-cut fries with spicy Sriracha ketchup

Posted 6:15pm on Friday, Jun. 28, 2013

Lots of burger talk is going down as we prepare for the 2013 DFW.com Burger Battle. But before the battle begins, I want to give a shout-out to the fries. You know, the humble side dish served with almost every burger. I mean, how often do you say no when asked, “Do you want fries with that?” I thought not.

And now we are starting to see “spicy” and “fancy” ketchups as selling points for just the fries at one of the major chains, taking center stage away from the actual burgers. So maybe it is the fries that are actually driving burger sales? Or is it that fries have very high profit margins and it's actually the burgers that are there to sell the fries? Whoa!

So back to the spicy ketchup, I decided to give it a try (along with a burger) and I was shocked at how mild the ketchup was when I tried it. I was so disappointed that I decided I was going to fix up my own batch of fries with a very spicy “sriracha” ketchup.

At first I thought I would make my ketchup from scratch like some of the high-end burger joints, but it turns out the more I looked into it that it was really looking like more trouble than what it was worth. Of course, with homemade ketchup you could use real sugar instead of corn syrup, but you can also buy ready-made ketchup made with real sugar. So I decided to save a days work and buy some Simple Heinz Tomato Ketchup (made with real sugar) and doctor it up with some Sriracha sauce. I added 1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce to 1 cup of ketchup, stirred and gave it a taste, than went ahead and added a second tablespoon. I also let it set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld.

To make the fries I decided to make both russet and sweet potato fries, hand cut and baked on my grill (you can also use an oven). Soaking the fries in vinegar water and coating them with a little cornstarch makes them nice and crispy when baked.

Sriracha ketchup


  • 1 cup ketchup (I used Simple Heinz Tomato Ketchup)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (I used Huy Fong Foods rooster sauce)

Mixing Directions

  1. Stir 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce into 1 cup of ketchup and taste. Season to taste by adding more ketchup for milder, or more sriracha for hotter. I ended up using 2 tablespoons of sriracha for 1 cup ketchup.

  2. Let set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld before serving.

Hand-cut baked fries (sweet & russet)


  • 1 large russet potato cut into long strips
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into long strips
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Baking sheets and parchment paper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Soak potato strips (fries) in a large bowl of warm water mixed with 2 tablespoons of vinegar for 30 minutes.

  2. Remove fries from water and dry them with paper towels. Empty large bowl of the vinegar water and dry bowl with paper towels. Add fries back to the bowl with the oil, cornstarch, paprika and salt and mix together until all the fries are evenly coated.

  3. Preheat oven or grill to 425ºF

  4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly distribute the fries on the parchment paper, making sure none of the fries are touching. Then place in preheated oven or grill. Bake fries for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the fries once on the parchment paper. Let cool, then taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with sriracha ketchup.

The fries turned out nice and crispy with a soft center. The Sriracha ketchup gave the fries nice kick. Excellent… Now I need to figure out a new burger worthy of these fries. Be sure to check out the step-by-step pictures in the slideshow above the story.

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