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Hash browns or hashed browns are a simple preparation in which potatoes are pan-fried after being shredded, julienned, diced, or riced, in the style of a Swiss Rösti. In some cultures, hash browns or hashed browns can refer to any of these preparations, while in others it may refer to one specific preparation. Hash browns are a staple breakfast food at diners in North America, where they are often fried on a large common cooktop or grill.
In some parts of the United States, hash browns strictly refer to shredded or riced pan-fried potatoes and are considered a breakfast food, while potatoes diced or cubed and pan-fried are also a side dish called country fried potatoes or home fries (though many variations of home fries are par-cooked before frying). Some recipes add diced or chopped onions.
Originally, the full name was "hashed brown potatoes" (or "hashed browned potatoes"), of which the first known mention is by food author Maria Parloa (1843–1909) in 1888. The name was gradually shortened to 'hash brown potatoes'. Bite sized Hash Browns are small cylindrical dumplings, known as Tater Tots in the USA and Potato Gems in Australia, and are sold commercially at diners and in frozen food aisles in packets.
A chef may prepare hash browns by forming riced potatoes into patties before frying with onions (moisture and potato starch can hold them together); however, if a binding agent is added (egg for example), such a preparation constitutes a potato pancake. Frozen hash browns are sometimes made into patty form for ease of handling, and the compact, flat shape can also be cooked in a toaster oven or toaster. If a dish of hash browned potatoes incorporates chopped meat, leftovers, or other vegetables, it is more commonly referred to as hash.
- Slater, Nigel (November 4, 2006). "Nigel Slater: Making a hash of it". The Guardian.
- Popik, Barry (February 18, 2009). "Hash Browns (Hash Brown Potatoes; Hashed Brown Potatoes)". barrypopik.com
- H. L. Mencken (2012). American Language Supplement 2. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307813442. Retrieved 2 December 2015.