Hash browns

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Not to be confused with hash brownies.
Shredded hash browns, pictured with slider sandwiches
A hash brown patty
Hashed browns as bite-size pieces, known as tater tots in the U.S.

Hash browns or hashed browns are a simple preparation in which potato are pan-fried in a rectangular shape pattie after being shredded, julienned, diced, or riced, in the style of a Swiss Rosti. 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.[1]

In some parts of the United States, hash browns strictly refer to shredded or riced pan-fried potatoes and are considered a breakfast food (they are part of McDonald's breakfast combos), 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.[1]


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.[2] The name was gradually shortened to 'hash brown potatoes'.[3] Bite sized Hash Browns, are small cylindrical dumplings, known as Tater Tots in the USA, and are sold commercially at diners and in frozen food aisle's 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.[1]

See also[edit]

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  1. ^ a b c Slater, Nigel (November 4, 2006). "Nigel Slater: Making a hash of it". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Popik, Barry (February 18, 2009). "Hash Browns (Hash Brown Potatoes; Hashed Brown Potatoes)". barrypopik.com
  3. ^ H. L. Mencken (2012). American Language Supplement 2. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307813442. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 

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