This dish made with a cheese stick and Pringles pairs well with a nice Auvergne red.

Jagariko is a beloved Japanese snack food made of reconstituted potatoes formed into delicious little crispy sticks. But cheap and easy snacking is apparently just one part of what makes Jagariko great.

According to a tweet by culinary YouTuber and author Ryuji (@ore825), it can be used to easily create the French dish known as Aligot. Aligot is a cross between mashed potatoes and cheese fondue originating in the south of France. It might sound overwhelming to some, but Ryuji assures all that it couldn’t be easier to create what he has dubbed “Jaga-Aligot.”

To start all you need is a cup of Jagariko and a mozzarella stick, both of which can be bought from most convenience stores for around 149 yen (US$1.36) and 113 yen ($1) respectively. Ryuji’s pictures used cheese-flavored Jagariko so I did the same, but other kinds might work too.

The first step is to peel the cheese stick and spread it over the potato sticks. To be honest, this was surprisingly a bit of a hassle and got me wondering if making actual mashed potatoes would take the same amount of effort.

Next, I added some hot water. Ryuji doesn’t say it needs to be boiling and told another Twitter user that microwaved water ought to work. As for me, I just used some hot water out of the office water cooler.

Ryuji says to add 150 milliliters (five ounces), but I couldn’t be bothered to find a measuring cup and just eye-balled it. If I may be frank, I’m something of an expert at cooking.

▼ Stand back. Gastronomist at work.

However, just after pouring, tragedy struck. In my excitement I forgot to get a fork, spoon, or chopstick for mixing it all together. It took me about a minute to find one and rinse it off before going onto the next step.

This might have proved fatal, because by the time I returned, the cheese seemed to have congealed into a big ball.

Nevertheless I moved on, but it wasn’t long before I noticed that the whole mixture was way too wet. It was more like a soup than creamy mashed potatoes and cheese.

At this point I was panicking, worried that I screwed the whole thing up. However, I kept my cool and immediately began bailing out water.

▼ No prob. Got this all under control.

I went back to the mix which now seemed to have a better consistency, but that solid wad of cheese remained. It was going to take some hard stirring to blend that in so I lifted my elbow and really went to town on it.

When the dust had settled, it actually looked okay!

The cheese was a little hard, but the Jagariko had broken down into a convincing copy of mashed potatoes.

Even better, the closer I got to the bottom the more like real mashed potatoes it tasted. It had a surprising buttery flavor that mixed with the cheese in a delectable way. Ryuji, you magnificent bastard, you’ve done it!

So, Jaga-Aligot was a success, if not without a few crises along the way. If you try this as well, I recommend measuring out the water more carefully and breaking the mozzarella stick into smaller bits before adding water (using a knife would probably help speed that up).

This is all well and good for those living in Japan, but Jagariko might be hard to come by in other countries, so is there another way?

To find out, I also purchased a small can of Pringles. This was to be a dangerous mission because Pring-Aligot has never been attempted before, and because eating too many Pringles has been known to give me a wicked tummy-ache.

They didn’t have cheese flavored so I got Sour Cream, and also went with a smoky flavored cheese stick this time around too. The amount of potato in the Pringles seemed roughly the same, so I pretty much went with the same quantity of cheese and water again.

▼ That can size is quite misleading, but luckily this was just the right amount of chips for this particular experiment

▼ It also gave me plenty of room to add the cheese comfortably

Now, you’d think I’d have learned my lesson and gotten a measuring cup, but no…and I have no excuses for this behavior.

▼ I told you all to stand back.

A powerful waft of sour cream aroma emerged and I began stirring vigorously right away to avoid having the cheese reassimilate like last time. It seemed to work and the cheese was much smoother and more evenly spread throughout.

The Pringles, on the other hand, appeared to be slightly more resilient to breaking down and little chunks remained no matter how much I stirred.

After about three minutes I said to hell with it, and started eating. Luckily, the lumps were more visual than textural, and the Pringles tasted very creamy. Actually, it was as if the chips had disappeared, almost completely merging with the cheese.

I think this was closer to the consistency of real aligot, whether that had to do with the Pringles or my improved timing isn’t clear though. At any rate, it seems as if this dish can be concocted with either Jagariko or Pringles, but Jagariko seemed to result in a more fluffy and potatoey aligot, whereas Pringles led to a cheesier creation.

Regardless of the way you make it, Jaga-Aligot is a rousing success and sure to be a perfect addition to that next romantic dinner you have planned.

Source: Twitter/@ore825
Photos ©SoraNews24