• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Bang Bang Tater Tots


Fried Tater Tots with a Sweet & Spicy Thai-Inspired Glaze

By Andrew Zimmern

One of my favorite things I ate while shooting an episode of Zimmern List in Portland, Oregon was a plate of tater tots paired with a spicy chile glaze. Inspired by this delicious and addictive dish, I decided to create my own tater tot masterpiece featuring the flavors of Thailand and Vietnam. The result is this recipe—easily the most crave-able dish I’ve made in a long time. Sweet and spicy, crunchy and soft, hot and cold, this dish is all about the joyousness of contrasts.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Bang Bang Tater Tots

Servings: 4


Tater Tots

  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • 4 cups frozen tater tots

The Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup Thai sweet chile sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 12 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts, crushed
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced


  • 1 tablespoon peanuts, toasted and crushed
  • Small handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon scallions, thinly sliced


In a large heavy pot or wok, heat the peanut oil to 385 degrees F. Add the tater tots and fry for 5 to 6 minutes, or until brown and crisp. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt.

Place the chile flakes and sesame seeds in a sauté pan over medium heat. Allow to toast for a minute, then add all of the remaining sauce ingredients. Stir to combine and dissolve the sugar. Cook the sauce until thickened and glazy, about 3 minutes. Add hot tater tots and cook for another minute, tossing to coat all of the tots. Pour out onto a plate and garnish with crushed peanuts, mint and scallions.

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