Potato Coins with Ketchup Salt – The Martian

The Film:


The Dish:

The Reason:
“In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option, I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.” so says Mark Watney (Matt Damon), as he tries to unearth a way to feed himself over 800 odd sols on Mars until a mission can retrieve him. Thank goodness he’s a botanist. Thank heavens for the potatoes that were sent along with the Thanksgiving rations. And thank modernity for ketchup (until it runs out). When that day arrives, you’re going to be left alone on a planet, eating plain potatoes you’ve farmed in your own fecal matter. Perhaps Mark could have made his ketchup stretch a little further if he’d employed the following method. 1) Dry it out- either in a low and slow oven, a dehydrator, or moisture depleted environment until it resembles the dust out the window of your shelter. 2) Mix it with sea salt flakes. 3) Sprinkle it sparsely over your potatoes. You can cut your potatoes into any shape you like, but considering the cost of the US having to save Matt Damon (once again), coins seem appropriate.

The Way:

Potato Coins with Ketchup Salt

IMG_2900Serves 6-8 as snacks/starters



IMG_28031/4 cup/ 63ml ketchup
4 medium roasting potatoes
300 ml vegetable oil for frying
2 tbsp sea salt flakes


1) A day before serving preheat the oven to 75C/167F and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Spread the ketchup thinly along the parchment using a spatula or palette knife. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-12 hours to dry out. At the end you should be able to peel the ketchup in brittle strips. If it is still tacky, return to the oven to continue to dry out.  Place the dry ketchup in an air tight container until you are ready to make the salt.

IMG_28002) To make the coins cut the potatoes into 2mm slices, either using a sharp knife or a mandolin.

IMG_28043) Soak the sliced potatoes in cold water for 1-2 hours – this will help them to crisp later.

IMG_28064) Drain the potatoes and dry well. Place the oil in a heavy bottom pan. Heat until it shimmers and reaches 190C/375F. Fry the potatoes in batches, until brown, crisp on the outside and soft in the centre. Dry on paper towel.

IMG_28885) To make the ketchup salt blitz the dried ketchup in a small food processor or blender until it resembles brittle sand. 

IMG_2883 6) Fold through the sea salt flakes.

IMG_2885 7) Serve the fried potato coins warm with the ketchup salt dusted over the top. 


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