South African Slap Chips

South African Slap Chips

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Often in our home it’s chips in the air-fryer, the healthy. But every once in a while my family requests some comforting deep-fried chips, South African Slap Chips. Slap meaning soft.

South African Slap Chips 

Slap Chips wrapped in newspaper

If you don’t know what Slap Chips is then you can’t be South African. These are chips that are slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are also slightly thicker than french fries.

They are not quite french fries but I would think quite close.  Both are made with potatoes and both are fried.

Give it a good sprinkle of salt and vinegar (which is the key to getting them all soft and floppy) and add whatever else you please. Just salt and vinegar on it’s own is enough too.

Best Potatoes for these South African Slap Chips

The best potatoes for these South African Slap Chips are russet potatoes. They have a low moisture content and a high starch content. These potatoes makes the best chips, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

One such potato here in SA is the Up To Date potatoes. I learnt to make these chips from my mum. She always soaked them in water to get rid of the starch, microwaved them for 5 minutes and then fried them in hot oil.

I do not use a thermometer to test temperature of the oil because I do it the old-fashioned way. When I drop my chips in the oil and it starts bubbling happily…haha, then I know my oil is ready. 

You can read more on testing oil temperature if you need a few more tips.

If you are using a thermometer the temperature should be around 190 degrees Celsius. When the chips are cooked they will start surfacing to the top. It takes about 5 minutes to cook.

South African Slap Chips wrapped in newspaper with tomato sauce on the side

Floppy Chips

Once the chips are cooked remove them with a slotted spoon, drain as much oil as you can. Pop them onto paper towels and dab the excess oil with the paper towels and keep them closed.

This is where condensation takes place and the chips become limp. It’s what makes the South African Slap Chips different to French fries.

Season with salt and vinegar. I normally add a sprinkle of chilli powder to it and my kids love it with loads of tomato sauce. You an add some crushed chilli too, if you can take the heat.

These chips never disappoint and if you’re having a bad day then try some of these chips. Will definitely lift your spirits.

More Potato Recipes to try:

Creamy Potato Bake

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

South African Slap Chips

Floppy chips, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South African
Keyword deep-fried chips, slap chips
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


  • 5 medium potatoes
  • vegetable oil for frying, about 2 cups
  • salt
  • vinegar


  • Peel potatoes and slice them into 1cm sticks. Cut the potatoes vertically into 4 pieces and then vertically into sticks again
  • Place them in a bowl and cover them with water. Allow them to soak for 5 minutes
  • Drain the water and place them in a microwave safe plate. Spread them out and microwave for 5 minutes
  • Heat the oil, on medium heat, until hot
  • Cook the chips in 2 batches. It will take about 5 minutes to cook, may start to brown a little on the edges and will surface to the top. They shouldn't brown too quickly or the insides won't be cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon
  • Place them between paper towels and dab the excess oil, keeping it closed. The moisture will allow the chips to soften
  • Sprinkle some salt over and a dash of vinegar. Mix well and enjoy


  1. If the chips are browning too soon you can reduce the temperature a little


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mandisa

    I dont have any paper towels on hand. Any other way I can trap the moisture?

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Mandisa! In the old days newspaper was used but I don’t like the idea. If you are really stuck then you can use a clean kitchen towel.Good luck:-)

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