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Papas arrugadas, also known as Canarian Potatoes, basically means 'wrinkled potatoes' and it's a traditional potato dish that you will find across all the Canary islands. Boiled salted Cornish new potatoes smothered in a spicy and smokey red pepper sauce (you can use a green sauce instead if you want it more mild).
They are called wrinkled potatoes because they are cooked in very salty water so they shrivel up and then they are left to steam in the pan once drained, so the salt gives them a bit of a crusty skin. They are then covered in a delicious sauce that you will want to put on everything!
Just because you might not be on holiday now, doesn't mean you can't enjoy all the same flavours.
What are Canarian Potatoes?
Canarian potatoes are basically salty small potatoes and then they are smothered with a sauce - either Mojo Picon (which is what we have used) or Mojo Verde (which is a milder herby sauce). The reason why they are so salty is because when they were originally made, they were made with sea water because fresh water was often short on the islands and they made the best they could with what they had. Luckily it resulted in super delicious potatoes.
If you have had them when you have been on the Canary Islands, then these might not taste exactly the same. The recipe will differ depending on the potatoes and salt used and the water to salt ratio used.
Why you will love them
- A delicious way to use potatoes
- A great side dish for a BBQ
- Easy to make sauce
- Just one saucepan and a blender needed
- Potatoes - For this dish, you need small, quick cooking potatoes like new or baby potatoes. We used seasonal Cornish potatoes and there is more on that below.
- Roasted red pepper - We have used roasted red peppers in a jar, as they are just as good and it makes the sauce much easier to make. You could roast your own peppers if you prefer though.
- Garlic - There are 6 garlic cloves in this recipe, but it really does need it. The sauce is garlic heavy but that is a good thing. You could always reduce it if garlic isn't your thing. Fresh is always best, but you could use ready crushed in a jar if you prefer.
- Chilli - We have used 2 small red chillies, and this sauce has got a really kick of heat in it. If you don't like anything spicy, then you could just use one, or leave it out completely.
- Oil - Try to use the best quality olive oil that you can as you really will be able to taste the difference. This is a lot of oil, but that is the base of the sauce.
- Salt - There is a lot of salt in this recipe, but it is to get the wrinkly skins on the potatoes. Most of it is drained off, so the nutritional information for the salt in this recipe won't be accurate.
- Vinegar - We used apple cider vinegar, but you could use malt or white.
- Cumin and paprika - This is what adds lots of flavour to the sauce and the paprika adds a nice smokiness to it.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Put the potatoes into a pan with all the salt and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until softened.
Two: Meanwhile, put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth to make the sauce.
Three: Once the 20 minutes are up, drain the potatoes and then put them back in the pan and on a very low heat for about 5 minutes, shaking regularly so the skins wrinkle.
Four: Put the potatoes on a plate and smother with the red sauce.
What potatoes to use
We used Cornish New Potatoes, (which are now available in Tesco) and they are the first new potatoes of the season grown on the UK mainland. Being the most south westerly point of mainland UK, means that Cornwall is the first part of the country to warm up in the spring. With nowhere in Cornwall more than 20 miles from the sea, it also benefits from a milder maritime climate, with sea breezes that help to keep the fields largely frost-free.
Cornish farmers work with the natural landscape and its particular microclimates to spread their planting and harvesting across the season so they can harvest little and often for maximum freshness.
Cornish New Potatoes are true new potatoes - harvested while the leaves are still green above the ground. This gives them their distinct mild, sweet taste and delicate fluffy skin - they also hold their shape well when cooked, due to their firm, slightly waxy texture.
What to serve them with
This is a great side dish that goes with almost anything. Here are some of our favourite recipes to serve it with:
Frequently Asked Questions
Potatoes are a great source of fibre and potassium and they are naturally fat free. However, the Mojo Rojo sauce is heavy on oil, so this isn't a low calorie dish if that is something that concerns you.
No, don't peel the potatoes. The skin has lots of fibre in it and the wrinkly skins is what makes this recipe so special.
This will depend on the size of your potatoes. As we have used new potatoes, we cut the bigger ones in half and leave the small ones whole.
The cooking time will depend on the size you cut your potatoes. However, you will know your potatoes are cooked when they are tender when you put a fork through them.
Yes, you could cook the potatoes in advance and then just reheat them and add the sauce when you are ready to serve. You could also make the sauce the day before and then cook the potatoes fresh and then add the sauce.
Yes, you can put them back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes to reheat. However, if we have any leftovers of this (which doesn't happen very often), then we just eat it cold as it tastes just as good that way. If you do reheat it, add a squeeze of lemon before serving to freshen it up a bit.
If you have any leftovers, they will store in an air tight container for up to 2 days. Beware, the sauce does get spicier the next day.
Yes, this potato dish is vegan already.
• Turn it in to a main dish by adding some chopped up vegetables and chunks of chicken breast (or thighs/legs) or halloumi and roasting them at the same time (timing may vary though).
• The nutritional information for this recipe won't be accurate, and will be an overestimate. This is because they don't keep all the salt on them.
More potato recipes
If you’ve tried these Canarian Potatoes, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
Canarian Potatoes (Papas arrugadas)
- 750 g (1.66 lb) Cornish new potatoes
- 1 Roasted red peppers - jarred
- 6 Garlic clove
- 2 Red chilli - small
- 80 ml (0.33 cups) Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 0.5 teaspoon Cumin
- 0.25 teaspoon Paprika
- 0.25 teaspoon Cayenne pepper - optional
- 3 tablespoon Sea salt
- Put 750 g Cornish new potatoes into a pan with 3 tablespoon Sea salt and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until softened.
- Meanwhile, put 1 Roasted red peppers, 6 Garlic clove, 2 Red chilli, 80 ml Olive oil, 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar, 0.5 teaspoon Cumin, 0.25 teaspoon Paprika and 0.25 teaspoon Cayenne pepper into a blender and blend until smooth to make the sauce.
- Once the 20 minutes are up, drain the potatoes and then put them back in the pan and on a very low heat for about 5 minutes, shaking regularly so the skins wrinkle.
- Put the potatoes on a plate and smother with the red sauce.
- Turn it in to a main dish by adding some chopped up vegetables and chunks of chicken breast (or thighs/legs) or halloumi and roasting them at the same time (timing may vary though).
- The nutritional information for this recipe won't be accurate, and will be an overestimate. This is because they don't keep all the salt on them.
I've not heard of this dish but it sounds wonderful! Looking forward to trying these potatoes!
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
These potatoes are incredible - the sauce is so flavourful and delicious and these make such a wonderful side dish!
The first thing I order when we go to Tenerife! Love these potatoes.
Practically licking the sauce off the plate!!
I'm always looking for new potato recipes and these look amazing! I wonder if I can use baby red potatoes instead. Love roasted red pepper so I'm sure I"ll love these potatoes!
Can't wait to try this cooking technique for potatoes, and the sauce looks incredible and easy to make. I love garlic and heat, so the red sauce is exactly the type of thing I love.
That sauce sounds incredibly, I'll have to give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing!
What a tasty idea for a side dish! And that sauce sounds absolutely amazing. :)
That is a delicious side to Pasta mains. My kids will happily dig into them!
Oooh I love all the bold flavors in the sauce! These potatoes look incredible.