It doesn’t get more traditional than a bag of salty seaside chips. However (a bit like people not being able to use ladders), apparently most chip shops are now banned from serving them in newspaper, due to hygiene reasons. Still, they are mostly sold in paper (always ask for the plastic bag to be left off – as well as being bad for the planet, it makes the chips go soggy).
Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries (The Simple Veganista) are nice with Julie’s own vegan aioli (a spicy mayo) or just use ketchup.
The main issue with chip shops is that most use palm oil. Ask your chip shop to swap to rapeseed oil (there are lots of wholesale suppliers) as this is friendly to orang-utans and more local too. There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil, and its use is causing havoc with native wildlife abroad.
Chuck Out the Chip Pan
Chip pans are the biggest fire hazard with almost 20 people killed or injured each year, due to kitchen fires (chip pans cause a fifth of all house fires). You can buy a compact digital air fryer to make your own chips at home, as a safer alternative. Ideal for small kitchens, it can ‘fry’ up to 450g of chips with just 1 teaspoon of oil (instructions included). If you do decide to keep your chip pan, here is advice from the Fire Service:
- Never fill a chip pan more than a third full with oil
- Use a modern safe fryer with thermostatic control
- Never leave chip pans unattended, even if the doorbell or phone rings
- Don’t cook with chip pans, when drunk!
- Keep the oven and hob clean, as less grease
- Dry the chips before putting them in the pan
- Test oil temperature with a piece of bread, before adding chips.
If your chip pan does catch fire, call 999 and have a clear escape route. Don’t move the pan and turn off the heat (if safe to do so). Never pour water, you’ll cause a fireball. Instead, smother with a kitchen fire blanket (can also be used for frying pan fires).
Frozen Chips from Supermarkets
You would think this was a no-brainer, but no. Of course you’ll have to recycle the packaging (even the cardboard microwave chips have plastic wrap?. But if you use them, do check the labels as some have beef dripping or milk. It’s quite bizarre reading the McCain website. Considering many people like to eat healthier these days, their page for vegans goes as follows:
Our roast potatoes, gastro chips, hash browns and mashed potatoes are not suitable for vegans. The roast potatoes are enrobed (?) in beef dripping or goose fat, and our gastro chips are enrobed (there it is again) in beef dripping, whilst our mashed potato contains milk, and our hash browns may also contain milk.
But (not to worry) as you can safely eat:
- Thin & crispy French fries
- Quick cook French fries
- Thin & crispy Southern fries
- Naked Oven Chips
- Home Chips
- Crispy Dippers (and so on, all crappy foods).
If you love your chips and don’t want to make them, there are a few better brands: Waitrose Duchy are made with just potatoes and sunflower oil (note to McCain) as are Potato Joe, farmed to Demeter standards.
French Fries from Fast Food Joints
McDonald’s French Fries elsewhere in the world are not vegan as they contain milk and ‘beef-like flavour’, whatever that is. Their website states that their fries here are OK, so why policy differs is unclear.
Make Your Own Chips
Likely the easiest way to make chips is to bake your own. They are healthier too with no oil, and very easy to make. You also have more choice, in that you can use sweet potatoes or even root veggies as the base, for more nutrients. These Baked Parsnip Fries with Mushroom Gravy (Full of Plants) are baked with rosemary and covered with a black pepper mushroom gravy. Keep mushrooms away from pets.
Cheesy Chilli Oil-Free Fries (Minimalist Baker) are vegan-friendly and fat-free too. Made with nutritionist yeast and optional cayenne pepper.
Vegan Fish & Chip Shops
Suttons & Sons is just one of many shops now offering vegan fish and chips. Made with banana blossom, you can also order ‘tofish’, scampi, vegan prawn cocktails, ‘fish’ cakes, vegan sausage and ‘steak pie’.
Where to Buy Good Vegan Chips
Strong Roots Proper Chips are made with light and fluffy potatoes, with a drop of sunflower oil. Just two ingredients, for one proper tasty chip.
- Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries are coated in an all-natural rice flour batter. A Blind Taste Test champion.
- Garlic Roasted Sweet Potato offers crispy chunks of sweet potato seasoned with garlic and herbs, with a crisp rice flour batter.
- Mixed Root Vegetable Fries are made with beetroot, carrot and parsnip. They are then coated in a light rice flour batter, for a crispy fry.