Tot-O-Rama Recipe

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Tot-O-Rama isn’t a contest, it’s a celebration! This basic Potato Tot recipe is inspired by some of the world’s greatest chefs to ever take on the Tot: Iron Chef Michael Symon, Chef Mark Zeitouni, whose tots won the grand prize at the 2010 South Beach Food & Wine Festival, and a Chef that needs no introduction, Chef John Mitzewich of For added instruction and entertainment, watch Tot-O-Rama!

Ingredients for Tots:
2 ten ounce Idaho Russet Potatoes
2 tbsp chopped green onion
salt & pepper to taste
Panko bread crumbs / mashed potato flakes
oil for frying

Tot-O-Rama Recipe
Notes: Each 10 ounce potato makes 15-20 Tots. This is a very basic recipe. Try other seasonings to suit your taste.

Tater-Tot-O-Rama Recipe
1) Peel, chop and boil Idaho Russets about half way through. You don’t want to cook the potatoes all the way through because they’ll finish cooking during the deep fry.
2) Begin mashing the potatoes and add chopped green onion, pepper and salt. It’s a little more difficult to mash these potatoes because they aren’t cooked all the way through. Continue mashing until potatoes resemble course crumbs.
3) Form the tots, pressing and shaping them just hard enough so they stay together. The more gently you form the tots, the lighter and airier your tots will be.
4) Decide on the coating. Panko; equal parts Panko and Mashed Potato Flakes; or, leave your tots naked! Roll tots in the selected coating. The warmth of the partially cooked potatoes helps the coating to stick.
5) Preheat several inches of oil to 350(F) for deep frying. Fry the tots in small batches until they are golden brown and crispy. They cook quickly!
6) Remove tots from the oil and put them on paper towels to help absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
7) Share and enjoy.

Tot-O-Rama Recipe
Iron Chef Michael Symon has the most straightforward recipe with the exception of adding lump crab meat. The Panko gives these Tots the texture and flavor I remember as a kid — these definitely had the crunchiest outside.

Tot-O-Rama Recipe
Chef Mark Zeitouni’s award winning recipe is complex in technique and ingredients, but gives the best tip of partially cooking and handling the potatoes. The naked tot is very impressive. It has pretty good crunch even though there’s no coating.

Tot-O-Rama Recipe
The addition of Mashed Potato Flakes and Panko inspired by Chef John’s Crunchy Onion Ring Recipe has more depth of potato flavor and a bonus crunch from the Panko. Although Chef John hasn’t made a Tot of his own, we can only hope we’ve inspired a future video recipe from YouTube’s favorite chef.

Tot-O-Rama Recipe
Are you gonna eat your tots, Pedro? Watch the Tot-O-Rama!

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25 Responses to “Tot-O-Rama Recipe”

  1. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
    7/11/2011 at 11:30 am #

    Yes please! I did fried mashed potato balls ages back as a what do you do with the leftovers when you want something different kind of thing. I love tater tots … oh heaven. Brings me back to school lol

  2. Average Betty
    7/11/2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Hey Rachel! I can’t think of a better use for leftover mashed potatoes ;) I always preferred the Tot over the Fry when I was a kid… Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Inez
    7/12/2011 at 10:13 am #

    I am getting so hungry for tots.

  4. Average Betty
    7/12/2011 at 10:50 am #

    Haha, Inez! Tots for everyone!!

  5. amee
    7/13/2011 at 8:57 am #

    This looks awesome. I love the use of panko on this. So simple! Is that ketchup in the background or something else?

  6. Average Betty
    7/13/2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Thanks amee! You know… I must confess. I don’t really like ketchup. It’s BBQ Sauce. Which is not to say I ate these tots with BBQ sauce, I ate them deliciously plain and loved them. I thought it might look like “homemade ketchup.” LOL :D

  7. Pretty. Good. Food.
    7/13/2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Yum!!!! These look so easy! Can’t wait to give the recipe a try :)

  8. Average Betty
    7/14/2011 at 8:26 am #

    Yay! I hope you do give them a try — they are easy :)

  9. Carrie
    7/15/2011 at 5:44 am #

    Nice! I have made tater tots all of once, for a School Lunch themed potluck (square pizza anyone?) but they kind of fell apart. I am inspired to try again, yum.

  10. Average Betty
    7/15/2011 at 9:47 am #

    Hey Carrie! Try it again! I think Chef Mark Zeitouni had the best tip of working quickly with the warm, partially cooked potatoes. I had no trouble at all with the tots holding their shape! Good luck – let me know if you give them another try!

  11. Jon
    7/15/2011 at 10:58 am #

    Awesome! I’m inspired to make Chef John’s sloppy joe’s again (which was a hit at my dinner table…) with the homemade Tots!

  12. Average Betty
    7/16/2011 at 7:06 am #

    I think I’m inspired to make Chef John’s Sloppy Joe’s too! I haven’t had one since I was a kid… Let me know if you try the tots!

  13. Licho3440
    7/16/2011 at 8:04 am #

    Love tots, Love Tots. Baked and Fried.

  14. Washieka Torres
    7/17/2011 at 1:37 pm #

    I love tater tots, but is there a way to bake them? I have looked online and it seems only other person than me has asked the same question but only got 2 answers that were kind of OK

  15. Average Betty
    7/17/2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Thanks, Licho3440! I love em too!

    Hi Washieka, I tried baking the tots when I was experimenting and I must say they were all lighter and fluffier when fried and not baked. If you’d like to bake, I recommend the panko coating. Prepare tots and lay on a baking sheet, spray with cooking oil and bake in a preheated 425(F) oven for 10-15 minutes, turn the tots over and bake for another 5-10 minutes. If you give it a try, let me know how they turn out :)

  16. Dave
    7/24/2011 at 5:09 pm #

    I tried these. My major problem was they disintegrated when I pit them in oil. I tried packing them as tight as I could. I did the panko coating. The only way I could keep them in tact was to cradle them in the spider strainer while they were u. The oil.

    They were tasty, but this batch made me think they are impratical.

  17. Average Betty
    7/24/2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Dave! So happy you tried the tots :) Were your potatoes warm when you formed the tots? I tried to have a delicate hand when forming mine… So many variables – I’d say, maybe give it another go, you won’t be disappointed if you get them right, you’ll love em!

  18. Lady D
    12/11/2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Tried the Tots and they were great, though I gave it a little twist.

  19. Hello
    2/22/2012 at 9:06 pm #

    What type of sauce do you recommend to dip your Tots in?

  20. Average Betty
    2/22/2012 at 11:25 pm #

    I’m going Napoleon Dynamite on this one and saying the best tots are eaten plain :) lol

  21. Jerome
    3/19/2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I just saw this video recipe on youtube the other day and I try to do this at home so…
    I love it… so delicious and on my dip, ‘mushroom gravy’.. I ate them and its delicious.. its so easy to make them. thanks averageBetty.. I love it.. :)

  22. Average Betty
    3/20/2013 at 8:32 am #

    Thanks, Jerome! And tots with mushroom gravy sounds divine!


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