Sweet potato matchsticks

The trick to getting these chips crispy is tossing them with corn starch and letting them sit for 15-30 minutes. This helps to draw out the moisture from the sweet potato sticks to make them crispy.

Sweet potatoes are yummy, and they’re a healthy substitute for regular white potatoes, although some recipes cannot be replicated using sweet potatoes due to the differences in starch content. 
 
Back in Hong Kong, we traditionally ate sweet potatoes during the winter. When I was a kid, there used to be people hawking them from street trolleys. They sold baked purple sweet potatoes, roasted chestnuts, and salt-crusted quail eggs, which are all local comfort foods. These days, you don’t see the vendors around as often as you used to. Another traditional way to serve them is in sweet soup, where they boil the sweet potatoes with rock sugar and ginger.
 
Here in Moscow, you generally find large sweet potatoes with red skin and orange flesh. I don’t prepare them the same way as we did in my childhood, as Asian sweet potatoes are usually less sweet (except the purple ones from Japan). My few favourite sweet potato recipes include oven-baked chips, mashed, rösti, or in curry.
 
I am replicating this recipe from casual steak house we go to where they serve their steaks with unlimited servings of sweet potato matchstick chips. I played around with the idea this weekend and tried deep frying them. It turned out really well, and they make a great snack to share. A little sea salt and pepper is all you need to add.
 
The trick to getting these chips crispy is tossing them with corn starch and letting them sit for 15-30 minutes. This helps to draw out the moisture from the sweet potato sticks to make them crispy. Be patient with the frying. Wait for them to turn almost brown before removing them from the oil.

Makes enough snacks for 3 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato (approximately the size of a big hand)
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Recipe Preparation

Thinly slice the sweet potato, then cut the slices into matchsticks. The thinner you cut them, the better, crispier chips you’ll get.
 
Put all the sweet potato matchsticks into a large mixing bowl, toss in corn starch, salt, and pepper then let them rest for 15-30 minutes. Toss again before you start cooking them.
 
Fill a deep pot/pan (one that’s suitable for deep frying) with oil, up to 2 inches. Heat oil to about 160C. Test to see whether it’s hot enough by adding one of the the matchsticks. If it bubbles up immediately, then the oil is hot enough.
 
Add a handful of matchsticks to the hot oil and let them deep fry for 5 minutes or until they turn brown. Use a sieve to remove them in batches and let them drain on a cooling rack lined with kitchen paper. Repeat for the rest of the sweet potato matchsticks. Serve warm with just salt and pepper or dip them in sriracha mayo.
 

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