I love sprinkling ice cream with salt. It may sound random, but if you think about it, it totally makes sense. A little sprinkling of sodium brings out the flavor of anything whether it’s sweet or savory. Growing up, I was the kind of kid that insisted on ordering a side of salty fries alongside my vanilla soft serve whenever my family visited our local Mickey D’s, and though it’s been over a decade since I’ve had the frozen sweet and salty starch combo, the memory of the joys of dipping fries into a cone of ice cream all came rushing back when I visited Oiji, a Korean restaurant in the East Village in New York City.
Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku, the co-executive chefs and owners of the restaurant studied at the Culinary Institute of America where they met, and then went on to whip their culinary skills into shape at Bouley and Gramercy Tavern, respectively, before they opened Oiji. Though the restaurant prides itself on authentic dishes with a modern approach, the most buzzed about item on the menu is a potato chip and ice cream combo. Of course it’s not as simple as combining homemade chips and ice cream on a plate—the dish is elevated tenfold by the honey emulsion that is laced with cayenne, butter and sugar, and is then tossed with the potato chips. A bite of the salty, slightly sweet chips paired with the ice cream is pure heaven and worth visiting the restaurant over and over again.
If you can’t make it there in person though, try making the dish at home following the recipe below. Just make sure that when you’re making your ice cream selection at the grocery store, you go for the good stuff.
Oiji’s Honey Butter Chips
4 medium-sized baking potatoes, soaked for 6-10 hours
Premium oil for frying
For honey emulsion:
1/6 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup rich butter (high percentage of milk fat)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt to taste
- Peel the potatoes and then slice very thinly with a mandolin. Make sure to keep the thickness the same for each slice to ensure even frying.
- Soak the potato slices in water for 6 to 10 hours. This helps loosen the starch and will keep the slices from sticking to each other when frying.
- Rinse the slices in running water to remove excess starch and then dry the slices completely on a paper towel. Make sure all water is removed.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet to 325 degrees. Add the slices to the oil and working batches to keep frying equal. Do not overcrowd your chips. Fry them, turning if needed, until each is a crispy, golden brown.
- Remove them from the oil; drain and cool them.
- In a saucepan, combine the honey, cayenne, butter, and brown sugar over medium heat, whisking to combine. Once the mixture is warm, melted, and fully combined, drizzle it over the chips evenly and toss them lightly to fully coat.
- Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.