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Crispy sweet potato fries using Japanese style sweet potatoes


Anna N
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Over here in the "Japanese Cooking at Home" topic a couple of people began discussing the use of Japanese-style sweet potatoes to make crispy oven fries.

This sounded interesting to me so when I spotted these sweet potatoes in my local supermarket I decided to give it a try.

I chose to follow a method I found on the web which called for a brief time in the microwave before cutting the potatoes into chips and tossing them with oil before baking them conventionally at a high temperature.

I suppose "crispy" is very much a judgement call. The method described on the website "the clothes make the girl.com" warned about one's expectations of crispy. My expectations were definitely not met. I might try this again skipping the microwave step to see if there is any improvement but I cannot say that I was particularly enamoured of the flavour either. To me they seem starchier and less flavorful than orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Again this is purely a judgement call.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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Thanks for reporting. I almost bought some of the recommended potatoes to give this recipe a try even though I long ago gave up the quest for a crisp sweet potato fry. The closest I have come is in the link below. It's the coating that is crisp but it does mimic the texture of a crisp fry to a certain extent.

 

http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2014/07/24/crispy-cornmeal-sweet-potato-fries-2/

 

 

I have had good luck with what I think of as a chip (ie. very thin slices) by using the microwave, and to a lesser extent, a slow oven.

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Thanks for reporting. I almost bought some of the recommended potatoes to give this recipe a try even though I long ago gave up the quest for a crisp sweet potato fry. The closest I have come is in the link below. It's the coating that is crisp but it does mimic the texture of a crisp fry to a certain extent.

 

http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2014/07/24/crispy-cornmeal-sweet-potato-fries-2/

 

 

I have had good luck with what I think of as a chip (ie. very thin slices) by using the microwave, and to a lesser extent, a slow oven.

I guess my biggest problem is that if I want fries then I make fries. I am terrified of hot sugar but not of hot oil! So I know what real homemade french fries are like. I am speaking of white potatoes here not sweet potatoes. I know what you mean about a coating. And it can make them quite acceptable but as you acknowledge it's not quite the same thing. I am inclined to think that my single attempt is not fair and I need to try again just not today! I have two more of these Japanese style sweet potatoes so I may try again tomorrow.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I guess my biggest problem is that if I want fries then I make fries. I am terrified of hot sugar but not of hot oil! So I know what real homemade french fries are like. I am speaking of white potatoes here not sweet potatoes. I know what you mean about a coating. And it can make them quite acceptable but as you acknowledge it's not quite the same thing. I am inclined to think that my single attempt is not fair and I need to try again just not today! I have two more of these Japanese style sweet potatoes so I may try again tomorrow.

 

I tried deep frying sweet potato fries once. Not crispy. I hope you can figure something out, I will try to duplicate your results. BTW, have you tried starting Yukon gold fries in cold oil? Works well but the serving size is limited to what will fit in your biggest suitable pot (I use my LC brasier).

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http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2014/07/24/crispy-cornmeal-sweet-potato-fries-2/

 

I wonder if you could use olive or or regular veg oil instead of the coconut oil - not a coconut fan?

 

This recipe might be an interesting prep for regular potatoes as well.

 

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On that website which I referenced she does suggest further down that one could use duck fat or another oil. I use grapeseed as that is what I had on hand.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I tried deep frying sweet potato fries once. Not crispy. I hope you can figure something out, I will try to duplicate your results. BTW, have you tried starting Yukon gold fries in cold oil? Works well but the serving size is limited to what will fit in your biggest suitable pot (I use my LC brasier).

Yes as one of my many ways of trying many things. Somewhere on here we have a topic about it I am sure.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Sorry you didn't like your initial attempt at Japanese sweet potato oven fries, Anna.  :sad:

 

I always cook mine from raw in a hot oven shaken in a salvaged produce bag with a little canola oil.

 

I've served them alongside Idaho potatoes (cooked from raw with the same treatment) and everyone I've served them to prefers the Asian fries.

 

I wouldn't microwave them first. It's liable to make them mushy.

 

The only seasoning I use is course kosher salt, after they're cooked.

 

Yes, absolutely the Asian tubers are starchier (which allows them to cook up to crispiness that my native (and adored) orange sweets cannot.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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As I recall (without getting up out of the chair to check) Joy of Cooking suggests sweet potatoes should never be cooked at a high temperature or the starch will not be converted to sugar.

 

Could this be the difference?  I pressure steamed my Japanese style sweet potato in the skin and the result was syrupy sweet without adding any other ingredient.

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I suspect that the type of oil will not change much re crispiness.

 

I'm not satisfied with the crispness of SP fries I've made either.

 

Thoughts of experiments not yet done...

 

-Try older drier SPs...or pre-dry in an oven

 

-Boil first in acidified water...cool...then fry at the usual temp

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi, this is Sally, from the Bewitching Kitchen

 

definitely ok to use other types of oil, in fact I've done the exact same recipe with grapeseed and olive oil -  the taste of the coconut oil is very pleasing to me, but I know not everyone enjoys it.  Also, it tends to solidify pretty quickly so the regular oils are a bit easier to work with. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, this is Sally, from the Bewitching Kitchen

 

definitely ok to use other types of oil, in fact I've done the exact same recipe with grapeseed and olive oil -  the taste of the coconut oil is very pleasing to me, but I know not everyone enjoys it.  Also, it tends to solidify pretty quickly so the regular oils are a bit easier to work with. 

Welcome to eGullet, Sally!

 

I am surprised that the Modernist community hasn't tackled this issue yet and come up with a solution. They've seemed to have solved just about everything else. :wink:

I think one of the reasons why sweet potatoes and yams never get that crispy french fry crunch is because of their much higher moisture content. Which makes me wonder if you dehydrate the sweet potato/yam fries and then fry them or bake them, if that would help them to get that missing french fry crispiness.

Are there any dehydrator aficionados on these boards willing to experiment?  :smile:

 

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