Start to Finish: 30 minutes Servings: 4 Difficulty: Intermediate
Sweet potato french fries are a colorful and flavorful accompaniment to your next burger. They are as simple to prepare as traditional french fries, and their sweetness pairs well with a wide variety of savory seasonings.
While you can make these fries in any large stock pot, using a deep fryer or dutch oven and thermometer work well for maintaining the consistent oil temperature necessary to achieve restaurant-quality crispness.
- 6 cups canola, safflower or peanut oil
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup club soda, chilled
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Set the temperature on the deep fryer to 325 degrees F or heat the oil in a dutch oven until it reaches 325 F.
Peel the sweet potatoes then cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Turn the slices 90 degrees and cut them into sticks of the same width.
Rinse the cut sweet potatoes to remove any excess starch, then pat them dry with a paper towel.
Cook half of the fries for 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to move the potatoes around in the oil to prevent them from sticking together. Watch the temperature and adjust the heat if it drops below 200 degrees F.
Drain the fries on a bed of paper towels. Transfer the cooked fries to a sheet pan in the oven. Cook the remaining sweet potatoes.
Turn up the heat to increase the oil temperature to 375 degrees F.
Whisk the cornstarch and club soda together in a mixing bowl. Dredge half of the the fries in the batter.
Slide the dredged sweet potatoes into the hot oil, a few at a time. Do not overcrowd the oil, or it will drop in temperature and your fries will come out greasy, not crispy. Adjust the heat if the temperature drops below 350 degrees F.
Remove the fries from the oil when they begin to brown at the edges. They may not look as golden brown as you’d like but they will continue to darken as they cool. Keep them warm on a paper towel-covered sheet pan in the oven while you cook the rest of the fries.
Sprinkle the fries with kosher salt to taste and toss to coat. Serve with your favorite condiments.
Experiment with different seasonings to suit your tastes. Kosher salt and cumin give this dish a Moroccan flair. Salt, garlic, dried basil and oregano bring your sweet potato fries to the Mediterranean.
Always use caution when working with hot oil, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to put out a grease fire -- it will spread the flames. Smother the fire or use a fire extinguisher instead.
Be sure to use a pan that is large enough to accommodate the oil and fries. The oil level will rise when you drop the sweet potatoes in. If the pan overflows, it could start a grease fire.
Be sure to dry the cut sweet potatoes thoroughly. The oil will splatter if the potatoes are damp when you drop them in.
Tricia Ballad is a writer, author and project geek. She has written several books including two novels, teaches classes on goal setting and project planning for writers, and loves to cook in her spare time. She is living proof that you can earn a living with a degree in creative writing.