Kid-friendly Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes

Recipe: Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes

Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Olga S photography/Shutterstock.com
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
10 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes

"Dia Dhuit" (Jee-ah Ghwitch)! That's how you say "Hello" in Irish! Get ready for a fun and delicious culinary journey through Ireland—the land of fairies, leprechauns, and pots of gold! We'll start with the potato (of course!) and the classic Irish dish: boxty, a staple of Irish cuisine since the 1700s! 

Boxty Potato Cakes are an Irish classic! They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and work just as well as a meal or a snack. Our recipe combines the traditional mix of grated potatoes, green onions, and eggs with grated carrots for added nutrition.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • crack :

    to break open or apart a food to get what's inside, like an egg or a coconut.

  • fry :

    to fry in a pan in a small amount of fat.

  • grate :

    to reduce food, like a carrot, to very small shreds or pieces of the same size by rubbing it on a tool with an outside surface that has holes with cutting edges (a grater).

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

Equipment Checklist

  • Skillet
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Grater
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Pancake turner or heat-resistant spatula
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Ingredients

Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes

  • 1 large potato or 2 small potatoes (choose your favorite type)
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 green onions
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 T flaxseed + 1/4 C warm water—more info below)**
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil

Food Allergen Substitutions

Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour for all-purpose flour.
  • Egg: For 1 egg, substitute 1 T flaxseed + 1/4 C warm water. Stir and soak flaxseeds in warm water for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed and thickened.

Instructions

Irresistible Irish Boxty Potato Cakes

1.
intro

"Dia Dhuit" (Jee-ah Ghwitch)! That's how you say "Hello" in Irish Gaelic (or just Irish). People in Ireland speak English, but Ireland is rich in culture, and Gaelic is an ancient Celtic language that was common throughout Scotland and parts of Ireland. Boxty Potato Cakes are an Irish classic! You make this recipe by combining grated potatoes and a simple pancake batter to create a crispy snack that will quickly become a new breakfast favorite.

2.
wash + grate

Start by washing and grating 1 potato and 1 carrot into a large mixing bowl. Squeeze and drain as much liquid from the potato and carrot mixture as possible.

3.
chop + measure

Next, roughly chop 2 green onions and add those to the mix of carrot and potato. Then measure 3/4 cup flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard and add to the mixture of vegetables.

4.
crack + mix

Crack 1 egg into the mixture. Measure 3/4 cup of water and add that to the mixture as well. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until completely combined.

5.
pour + fry

In a large skillet, pour in 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Turn the heat to medium and allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes. Once the oil is hot, add 2 tablespoon-sized scoops of the potato mixture into the pan. Press down on the batter lightly to form a small pancake shape. Fry for roughly 5 minutes each side or until golden brown.

6.
cool + taste + serve

Remove the potato cakes from the pan and allow them to cool slightly before serving. It's always a good idea to taste fried foods while they are still warm, to check if they need any more salt before serving them.

Surprise Ingredient: Potato!

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Photo by Tatevosian Yana/Shutterstock.com

Hi, my name is Spud! That's my nickname, though. I'm actually a Potato!

“I'm sometimes a bit dirty because I grow down in the soil, but I clean up just fine. You may notice I sometimes have 'eyes' on my skin. That's where I sprout so new potato plants can grow. You can use the end of a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove those sprouts unless you're going to plant me! We are versatile, starchy vegetables that you can leave whole, slice, dice, shred, or mash and bake, boil, fry, grill, or roast!"

History & Etymology

  • Potatoes are the foremost vegetable crop in the world! They are root vegetables native to the Americas.
  • Scientists believe the first potatoes were cultivated about 8,000 years ago by hunters and gatherers near Lake Titicaca—high in the Andes mountains, on the border between Peru and Bolivia. 
  • Those first farmers obtained the cultivated potato by domesticating wild potato plants that grew prolifically around the lake. Over the following millennia, people in the Andes developed potato varieties for growing at different altitudes and in other climates.
  • In 1532, the Spaniards invaded Peru searching for gold, but they took a different treasure back to Europe: the potato! Over the next 300 years, the potato became a staple crop in Europe and soon found its way to India, China, and Japan. China now grows the most potatoes worldwide.
  • The potato has been a staple ingredient in the German diet since the 17th century when King Frederick was known to give seeds to citizens and demonstrate how to plant them for food. 
  • Famines occurred in the mid-1700s, and people in Germany realized the importance of potatoes because they could be grown in harsh environments.  
  • Where are most of the potatoes produced in the United States? In Idaho! Approximately one-third of all potatoes in the US are grown there.
  • The potato was the first vegetable grown in outer space!
  • President Thomas Jefferson was the first person to serve french fries in the United States (in 1802 in the White House).
  • Potatoes are so popular that a plastic toy called "Mr. Potato Head" has been sold by Hasbro since 1952. Initially, they sold it as separate parts, like eyes, ears, mouth, hats, etc., that could be attached to an actual potato with pushpins. Due to too many ruined potatoes and new safety rules, in 1964, Hasbro added a plastic potato body with holes to insert the plastic body parts and clothing. The toy was the first to be advertised on television. 
  • The English word "potato" comes from the mid-16th century from the Spanish "patata," which may have been a hybrid of "batata" (sweet potato) from the extinct Taíno language and "papa" (potato) from the Quechua language.  

Anatomy

  • Potatoes are tubers and are members of the Nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tobacco. 
  • The potato plant has a relatively short lifespan of anywhere from 80 to 150 days, determined by the variety of the potato. Furthermore, according to the International Potato Center in Peru, there are more than 4,000 varieties, with most found in the Andes Mountains!
  • Potatoes do not grow from seeds like other vegetables and fruits. Instead, they grow from "seed potatoes," which sprout and form roots underground. 
  • During its first stages of life, sprouts form from the eyes of the primary tuber. First, farmers prepare the earth by tilling it in rows that form ridges. Next, they remove stones from the soil to help the potatoes grow in uniform, oval shapes. Then, the seed potatoes are planted and covered with dirt for protection.
  • Seed potatoes are planted in the Spring so that the warmth from the sun can stimulate the plants to grow. First, roots form from the seed potatoes, and new shoots reach up through the soil toward the warm sun. Soon, green leaves grow on the shoots, establishing the potato plants. Then roots spread underground in the earth, and the potatoes grow from these roots. Potatoes are relatively easy to grow, even in harsh environments.   

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat 

  • Choose potatoes that are smooth, plump, free from blemishes, cuts, and decay, and that don't give when you squeeze them. 
  • Potatoes start getting soft when they go bad, so choose firm potatoes at the grocery store.
  • Smell potatoes before buying them: they should smell fresh and faintly of dirt since they grow in soil. 
  • Waxy potatoes are best for boiling and steaming, as they contain less starch and won't absorb as much liquid. Examples of waxy potatoes are Yukon gold, fingerling, Carola, LaRette, and Austrian Crescent.  
  • Medium-starch, all-purpose potatoes (red, purple, Onaway, and goldilocks varieties) work well when baked, roasted, fried, and used in soups and gratins.
  • Russet potatoes are best for frying (such as in hash browns and french fries), as they contain less starch and will get crisper.
  • Store potatoes in open or hole-punched paper bags (not plastic) to keep air circulating around the potatoes. Plastic bags can trap moisture and cause potatoes to rot quicker. Also, keep the bag in a dark, dry space. Chlorophyll will develop and produce a tell-tale green tinge if you store potatoes in too bright a place. If this happens, a toxic compound called solanine also forms, and it is best to toss any green potato in the garbage.   

Nutrition

  • Potatoes, with their skin, are rich in carbohydrates and a good source of energy. In addition, they have a high content of vitamin C and potassium, and protein that is well matched to human needs.
  • One cup of cooked potatoes contains 32 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6. This vitamin is a major antioxidant (antioxidants help clear the body of harmful substances). We need B6 for our brains and hearts, helping us learn and focus better, keep our moods up, and keep our brains sharp. Vitamin B6 is also required to make all new cells in the body, which happens every minute of our lives!

 

What is Boxty?

Photo by vm2002/Shutterstock.com
  • Boxty is an Irish potato pancake from Ireland's northern regions. It has been a staple in Ireland since the 18th century. It is often served with meals for St. Brigid's Day on February 1 but is also eaten during the rest of the year as a side or snack.
  • A boxty typically consists of raw grated and cooked mashed potatoes (starchy Russets are preferred), flour, baking soda, buttermilk, salt, and black pepper. If all you have is leftover mashed potatoes, you can use all mashed. You can also add some sliced green onion for extra flavor. 
  • Boxty is usually shaped and fried in a little butter or oil like a griddle cake or pancake. However, you can also make boxty bread by putting the dough into a loaf pan, then baking and slicing it like bread.

Let's Learn About Ireland!

Photo by Thomas Bresenhuber/Shutterstock.com (Rock of Cashel)
  • Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland, is on the island of Ireland, called Éire in the Irish language. Its nickname is the Emerald Isle because it is very green and lush! 
  • Ireland is a country in northwestern Europe, west of Great Britain, another island.
  • The Republic of Ireland shares a border with Northern Ireland, which belongs to the United Kingdom. England, Scotland, Wales, which make up Great Britain, and Northern Ireland are all part of the UK.
  • Irish is one of two official languages, with English being the second; however, English is more commonly spoken.
  • Over 5 million people live in Ireland, and its total area is 32,595 square miles. Their currency is the euro. 
  • The capital city, Dublin, and its environs are home to about 40 percent of the population of Ireland.
  • Ireland has a long, complicated history, but people called the Celts made their home in the region about 700 years BCE and thrived for almost 2,000 years. Then, in the Middle Ages, Vikings arrived on ships and started settling the area, which led to conflict.
  • The Rock of Cashel is one of several popular tourist sites in Ireland. It is a rocky, limestone outcropping. At the top, you will find medieval buildings, including a Gothic cathedral; a Romanesque chapel called Cormac's Chapel, named for a King of Munster; the Hall of the Vicars Choral; a 15th-century Tower House; an abbey; a round tower; and a high cross. Saint Patrick, of St. Patrick's Day fame, is associated with the Rock of Cashel.
  • Ireland was part of the United Kingdom from 1801 until December 6, 1922, when it became a self-governing nation but still part of the British Empire, known as the Irish Free State. In 1937 it became a republic, which was made official in 1949. The British had been involved in Ireland since 1169, when the Anglo-Normans invaded, and English kings claimed sovereignty there.
  • The Great Famine (or Irish Potato Famine) affected Ireland from 1845 to 1849. Potatoes were a staple food, and when the potato blight decimated the potato crop. As a result, many people got sick, died, or fled the country, and the population decreased by 30 percent.
  • The green on the Irish flag represents Ireland's nationalists, orange represents the Protestant followers of William of Orange in Ireland, and white represents peace between the two groups.
  • Some of the well-known symbols of Ireland include the shamrock, Celtic knot, Celtic cross, and the Celtic harp.
  • Famous Irish authors and poets include Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, and George Bernard Shaw.
  • Ireland is also famous for its Irish Celtic music and Irish dancing.
  • Green is associated with St. Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland, and the shamrock. Saint Patrick's Day on March 17 is a public religious and cultural holiday in Ireland. Many other countries around the world also celebrate it.
  • St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in the United States for the first time in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. However, the city to hold the first official St. Patrick's Day parade was New York City, starting in 1766. Over 100 US cities now have Saint Patrick's Day parades. After all, on St. Patrick's day, "everybody is Irish!"
  • Traditional Irish sports are Gaelic football and hurling, and they are also the most popular sports in the country. Association football (soccer) is third in popularity. Additional sports include rugby, cricket, and horseracing. At the Olympics, boxing is Ireland's most successful sport.
  • Irish cuisine includes "boxty" (potato pancake), "colcannon" (mashed potatoes with cabbage), "coddle" (a dish of potatoes, sausage, thin bacon or "rashers," and onion), and Irish soda bread.  
  • A "full Irish breakfast" consists of bacon, pork sausage, fried eggs, black pudding (blood sausage), baked beans, sliced tomato, sautéed mushrooms, soda bread or toast, and tea or coffee.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Ireland?

  • If kids in Ireland live in Irish-speaking communities, their schools teach classes in the Irish language. If they live in English-speaking areas, instruction is in the English language, unless kids attend an Irish-language school called a "gaelscoil," where classes are in Irish.
  • Most Irish schools require students to wear uniforms.
  • Irish children may play "rounders," a bat and ball game, "skipping" or jumping rope, marbles, and Irish "skittles," a bowling-like game where kids try to hit pins that are set up on the ground with pieces of wood called skittles.
  • Kids may participate in some of the following sports: Gaelic football, handball, hurling or camogie, association football (soccer), rugby, boxing, and swimming.
  • For breakfast, kids may eat the full, traditional Irish breakfast or have pancakes or scones. For a snack, they may eat potato chips or Irish flapjacks, which are granola bars made with oats. A favorite sweet treat is a fairy cake, a small cupcake with icing drizzled on top

The Yolk's On You

What do bakers give their moms on Mother's Day? 

Flours!

THYME for a Laugh

Who is the most powerful potato in the galaxy? 

Darth Tater.

The Yolk's On You

What do baseball players call their potato fans? 

Speck-Tators

THYME for a Laugh

Why didn’t the potato want to go to the Halloween dance party? 

He was afraid of the Monster Mash.

Lettuce Joke Around

What is the most powerful potato in the galaxy? 

Darth Tater.

THYME for a Laugh

What did the yeast say to the bag of flour? 

Come on! We knead to be serious!

That's Berry Funny

Why do potatoes make good detectives? 

Because they keep their eyes peeled.

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call a baby potato? 

A small fry!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a potato who spends a lot of time sitting and thinking? 

MediTator!

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