A Spicy Perspective

Shoestring French Fries (Julienne-Cut)

How to Make Shoestring Fries – It’s fantastically easy to make ultra-thin, perfectly crisp shoestring French fries at home. This classic recipe for julienne-cut fries can even be made in the air fryer!

Close view of shoestring fries in a small cast iron skillet.

The Best Ultra-Thin Homemade French Fries

Growing up, nearly every fast food restaurant and diner we ate at had French fries on the menu. Whether out for a casual dinner or making a quick road trip stop, when fries are being served you know it’s going to be a fun and tasty meal!

There is something indescribably satisfying about eating a big juicy burger paired with warm, crunchy, and salty fries. However, I must admit that as an adult I now prefer to make my own French fried potatoes at home from scratch. You know exactly what they’re made with (just potatoes, oil, and spices!) and they definitely taste the best when hot and fresh from the fryer.

As if French fries could get any better… These ultra-thin julienne French fries are so crisp and tantalizing you’ll wish you had made a double batch! I say go ahead and do it. This easy recipe is made with just 5 simple ingredients and can be prepared on the stovetop or in the air fryer in only a few minutes.

Shoestring French fries are perfect to serve with your favorite condiments as individual portions with barbecue and picnic mains, or load onto a large platter for everyone to share. Either way, I guarantee there will be smiles all around!

Pro Tip: This recipe is easy to make, but does require a mandolin slicer, so the fries are uniform.

Top view julienne French fries on a large black platter.

5 Ingredients You Need

  • Russet potatoesscrubbed, peel on
  • Ice waterto soak the potatoes before frying
  • Peanut oilor canola oil
  • Salt and peppersee below for other seasoning suggestions
Close view of black ramekin with aioli, and shoestring fries stuck in.

How to Make Homemade Julienne-Cut Fries

Wash the potatoes, but do not peel them. Set out a large bowl of ice water and a mandolin slicer. Set the mandolin slicer on the julienne setting. Carefully cut all the potatoes into thin julienne strips.

Mandolin slicer on a wood cutting board with raw thin slices of potatoes.

Place the strips in the ice water.

Once all the potatoes are cut and in the ice water, set the bowl in the fridge for at least two hours.

The cold water removes excess starches and keeps the french fries from getting soggy in the oil.

Pro Tip: The longer you soak the slices in the ice water the better; you can even do this the day before!

Bowl of ice water with raw slices of potatoes.

Set a large 6-8 quart saucepot over medium heat. Attach a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot and pour in the oil. Set a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels to the side.

Large pot of oil with thermometer stuck on the side.

Next, take several handfuls of julienne-cut fries out of the ice water. Toss them in paper towels to get them as dry as possible.

Get the Complete (Printable) Shoestring Fries Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Slices of raw potatoes on a towel drying off.

Once the oil reaches 350°F, use a skimmer to lower a small batch of shoestring fries down into the hot oil. If there is still moisture on the fries the oil will bubble up quite a bit, so be cautious. Stir once to separate the fries. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes, until the color is a medium blonde or straw color.

Use the skimmer to remove the fries from the hot oil and place them on the prepared pan. Sprinkle immediately with salt and pepper and toss.

Baking sheet with shoestring French fries cooling down.

Repeat in small batches, making sure to dry the fries as well as possible to remove excess water.

Pro Tip: You can keep the fries warm in a low 200 degree F oven, but they will become hard over time. It’s best to serve them immediately or within the first hour.

Serve warm and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces!

French fries tossed in seasoning and served in a large black bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Air Fryer Instructions

Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Toss the fries with 1/3 cup oil, then salt and pepper generously.

Air fry in small batches for 10-11 minutes, shaking the basket at the 5-minute mark. 3 pounds of shoestring fries is about 3-5 batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.

Individual portion of shoestring fries in a small black skillet, with dipping sauces in small black containers in the background.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other French fry seasoning blends can I use to make this recipe?

Make shoestring fries with a kick by tossing them in homemade Cajun seasoning.

What dipping sauces are best to serve with homemade fries?

Enjoy with classic ketchup, barbecue sauce, or southern comeback sauce. Or for some extra pizzaz serve with our magic aioli sauce, homemade remoulade, tzatziki, or avocado crema.

Can you make a double batch of julienne fries? Or half a batch?

Absolutely, you can make as many fries as you like! As-is this recipe prepares about 8 servings. Simply double (or even triple) the ingredients as needed. Or halve and enjoy approximately 4 servings.

Can you save leftover shoestring French fries?

Technically, yes. But it really isn’t recommended. They will become unpleasantly soft if left to sit too long and become cold. Because skinny fries are so thin, reheating them tends to make them become hard and dry. But if you’d like to try, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat briefly in the oven or in an air fryer.

Top down view small black skillets with individual portions of skinny fries, with black cups of ketchup and aioli to the side.

Looking For More Classic Snacks? Be Sure To Also Try These Recipes:

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Shoestring French Fries (Julienne-Cut)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 33 minutes
Ultra-thin, perfectly crisp shoestring French fries are easy to make at home, and great to enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces! This 5 ingredient recipe for julienne-cut fries can be made on the stovetop or in the air fryer.
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash the potatoes, but do not peel them. Set out a large bowl of ice water and a mandolin slicer. Set the mandolin slicer on the julienne setting. Carefully cut all the potatoes into thin julienne strips. Place them in the ice water.
  • Once all the potatoes are cut and in the ice water, set the bowl in the fridge for at least two hours. (The longer the better; you can even do this the day before! Just be sure they are completely submerged in the water.) The cold water removes excess starches and keeps the french fries from getting soggy in the oil.
  • Set a large 6-8 quart saucepot over medium heat. Attach a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot and pour in the oil. Set a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels to the side.
  • Take several handfuls of julienne-cut fries out of the ice water. Toss them in paper towels to get them as dry as possible.
  • Once the oil reaches 350°F, use a skimmer to lower a small batch of shoestring fries down into the hot oil. If there is still moisture on the fries the oil will bubble up quite a bit, so be cautious. Stir once to separate the fries. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes, until the color is a medium blonde or straw color.
  • Use the skimmer to remove the fries from the hot oil and place them on the prepared pan. Sprinkle immediately with salt and pepper and toss.
  • Repeat in small batches, making sure to dry the fries as well as possible to remove excess water.
  • You can keep the fries warm in a low 200 degree F oven, but they will become hard over time.

Notes

Try with our Cajun Fry Seasoning.
Air Fryer Instructions: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Toss the fries with 1/3 cup oil, then salt and pepper generously. Air fry in small batches for 10-11 minutes, shaking the basket at the 5-minute mark. 3 pounds of shoestring fries is about 3-5 batches, depending on your air fryer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 373kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Sodium: 9mg, Potassium: 709mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Main, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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3 comments on “Shoestring French Fries (Julienne-Cut)”

  1. These are legitimately the best fries I have EVER had. I am obsessed & will only be making them this way from now on! 

  2. These are my brother’s favorite. I love how crispy these get, and how you can dip multiple at the same time!

  3. Sometimes you just want a nice crispy fry and this is the best around! thank you for sharing!