Like a sleuth, you've uncovered a mysterious package in your pantry: dehydrated hash browns. You won't need any major detective skills to figure out that these are just a form of dried potatoes, ready to be rehydrated. After soaking these shredded spuds in hot water for a little while, they're ready to be browned in a skillet with a little butter or oil, as with freshly grated potatoes. Dehydrated hash browns plump up once they've been thoroughly rehydrated, so you'll have plenty to enjoy and share with breakfast.
Place the dehydrated hash browns in a bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Pour the water over the hash browns so the potatoes are completely submerged. Store-bought dehydrated hash browns sold in cartons can usually be hydrated inside the carton without need for a bowl.
Soak the potatoes in the hot water for about 10 to 15 minutes until rehydrated. The potatoes swell as they absorb the water.
Drain off the remaining water through a colander. Wrap the hash browns in a linen dish towel and wring the towel to squeeze out excess water from the potatoes. While you want to ensure the potatoes are rehydrated sufficiently, removing the excess water allows you to make crispy hash browns instead of steaming the potatoes.
Heat oil or butter in a non-stick skillet. Arrange the hash browns in a single layer and fry over medium heat for about five minutes or until the hash browns brown and become crispy on the bottom.
Flip the hash browns and cook the other side until crispy and brown. It helps to divide the hash browns in the pan into several smaller sections that are easier to flip.
Guidelines for rehydration might vary among different dehydrated hash browns manufacturers, so read the label carefully for any differences. For example, some might instruct to use lower temperature water and soak the potatoes for a longer period of time. This achieves the same goal of restoring moisture and softening the potatoes.
Hash browns used for a casserole usually taste best when cooked slightly in a skillet before adding to the casserole dish and baking. Follow the casserole recipe for specific instructions and treat the rehydrated hash browns as fresh.
Dehydrated hash browns absorb water and plump up quite a bit as they are rehydrating, even up to three times their original volume.