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I've been looking for a way to fry (not bake) sweet potatoes, maybe like the double-fry method for russet and russet-like potatoes, to get a crispy exterior.

Maybe I'm missing something but I'm having difficulty finding something for sweet potatoes (of any kind). I've consulted my cookbook library, and I haven't come across much. I've had mixed experiences with blog recipes, so I trust them less, but maybe this Munchies single-fry-from-frozen sweet potato fries article (which I will try this weekend) has some truth to it?:

  • Ingredients:

    • 2 pounds large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • Peanut oil, for frying
    • 1 cup clubsoda or water Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Instructions:

    1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and make enough room in the freezer for said baking sheet.

    2. Peel the sweet potatoes, if desired, and cut them lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick batons (fry shapes). Place them in a bowl with the baking soda and 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and toss. Arrange the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they are not touching. Freeze them until rock hard, at least 3 hours. If making fries later, transfer to a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag; they will keep frozen for up to 2 weeks.

    3. Pour the oil into a large, heavy pot, preferably a Dutch oven, that's fitted with a deep-fry thermometer to a depth of 2 inches. Set the pot over medium heat and begin gently warming the oil to 375ºF.

    4. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup cornstarch and the club soda. Stack several layers of brown paper on a baking sheet.

    5. When the oil reaches 375ºF, drop a handful of sweet potatoes into the cornstarch mixture and coat evenly. Lift them from the bowl, letting any excess drip into the bowl, and carefully add them to the oil. Fry, stirring with a spider so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot, until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using the spider, transfer the fries to the brown paper to drain. Immediately season with salt. Repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes, returning the oil to 375ºF between batches.

I'm looking for validation or refutation of the instructions of that article or, better yet, tried methods from people here that result in crispy sweet potato fries.

  • 1
    Why fry? With sweet potatoes and their sugar content, baking allows the sugar to crisp up and brown? – Jade So Jul 26 '18 at 20:48
  • for sure! at the same time, as with many, many foods, why not fry? ;) (I know, because they can get soggy, but that's why I wanted there to be some knowledgeable, informed record - not random blogs - as a resource somewhere about frying sweet potatoes) – arturomp Jul 26 '18 at 20:53
5

Freezing fries opens up their texture and makes them more fluffy. This is helpful for regular fries or sweet potato fries.

Sweet potatoes have too much sugar and not enough starch to crisp up on their own. The only crispy sweet potato fries I have ever made- or eaten- were coated in starch to provide the crispiness.

While I haven't tried this exact recipe- I haven't used club soda for example- it has all the right steps and looks like it would work.

3

The above recipe is valid but tedious. Try recipe below without the freezing part. Sweet potatoes do need a coating for crispness to replicate the double fry method achieved with potatoes. This recipe is for 2 pounds of sweet potatoes. If making more, make more soda bath as needed.

The simpler method is to only peel and cut them when you are ready to fry, making sure oil gets to 375. Cut them cross wise, rather than length-wise. The "shorter" fries will crisp better. Try for thinner as well, rather of steak-fry sizes.

After cutting, put them in batches in a bowl that contains 1 cup cornstarch and 3/4 cup cold club soda. The soda prevents caking. Lift out, let excess drain off and place them on a wire rack (preferably over sink or deep pan) to further drain and stay air dry, while you complete the other batches.

Once all coated, fry in 375 oil in small batches for 8 minutes, stirring them around to evenly cook, then transfer to paper towel lined tray. Wait for heat to come back to 375 before proceeding and continue until done. If making a lot, you can keep the previously cooked fries hot in a low oven on a baking sheet while completing frying.

After complete, transfer fries to bowl with salt and spices to coat. Stronger spices like cayenne or chili along with salt usually enhance flavor of the sweet tasting fries.

  • 1
    If you haven't tried the freezing step for fries you really should. It does take more advanced prep, of course, but the resulting texture is so much better. – Sobachatina Jul 28 '18 at 5:02
  • I was watching America's Test Kitchen last night, and for oven fries they also used cornstarch ... but they used regular water and microwaved it first to make a paste – Joe Jan 13 at 17:35

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