Sweet potatoes and I don’t always get along in the kitchen. This mainly stems from a four day period of my life trying to perfect the art of the baked sweet potato fry. Turns out, it’s pretty much impossible to bake sweet potatoes and get them crispy and delicious. If anyone can send me a recipe that absolutely works consistently, I’ll buy you lunch.
Luckily though, when it doesn’t involve baked fries, sweet potatoes play very nice in the kitchen. They are great baked (whole). They are better double baked. And it’s a given that most people will have some sitting around over the next few weeks.
Instead of making some sort of sweet potato casserole, I decided to go the crispy route when sweet potatoes won the poll last week. More specifically, the crispy, salty, addictive route.
1) Peel the sweet potatoes and chop off the ends so your first slices are chip-sized.
2) Slice chips thinly using a mandoline.
3) Fry chips in batches in 350 degree oil. Be careful not to add to many chips at once or your oil might overflow. Fry until they are lightly browned and not bubbling, about 3-4 minutes.
4) Remove chips and let drain on a paper towel. After they drain for about 30 seconds, season the chips with a good pinch of the spice mixture.
These chips are delicious on their own, but this spice seasoning takes them to another level. I mean, this stuff is out-of-control addictive.
It’s a simple mix of salt, brown sugar, paprika, and fresh thyme, but it’s like a drug. I was seriously licking my fingers while making it.
I want to put it on everything: chips, fries, popcorn… my toothbrush. Whatever.
Making the Chips
Screw baking sweet potato fries. If you want perfectly crispy sweet potato snacks, just slice them really thinly and fry them. DUH!
Before you do that though, make sure you peel your sweet potatoes and I like to cut off the ends also so each slice is a full-sized chip.
Unless you’re a knife master, you’re going to want some help with slicing these guys. It’s just really important to get them very thin and very evenly sliced. It’s almost impossible to do with a knife unless you’re Morimoto. And if you are Morimoto then “What’s up Morimoto?! Thanks for reading! Bring me some sushi!”
For us mere mortals though, you’ll want a mandoline slicer to make this job easy and quick.
This tool is very easy to use. Just make sure you use the safety guard please. I’ve seen people slice off 1/8 inch pieces of their finger. Not pretty.
They give you the safety guard for a reason.
Slicing up two sweet potatoes on one of these guys takes less than a minute.
And you’re slices will be perfectly uniform. It’s excellent.
Frying the Chips
This part isn’t rocket science. Pour about two quarts of oil in your sturdy frying pot and get it heated to 350 degrees. As always, I highly recommend using a deep fry thermometer to monitor your temperature.
Once your oil is hot, carefully add in a handful of chips. Try to separate the chips as you drop them in so they don’t all stick together. Be sure to work in batches when you do this and start with a small batch. As the chips cook, they might foam some which could overflow your pot. Also, you want to try to keep your temperature as close to 350 degrees as possible. Small batches help with all of this.
I did my two sweet potatoes in about 5 batches of frying. If you have a large pot, you could do it in less.
Each batch will only need to fry for 2-3 minutes because the chips are so thin. You’ll know they are done when they stop bubbling aggressively. That means most of the water is out of the chips.
They will also turn a deep golden brown color. Then just scoop out the chips with a slotted spoon and let them drain briefly on a paper towel.
Be sure to season these chips pretty heavily while they are still hot. That’ll help the seasoning stick to the chips. Once they are seasoned you can toss them in a bowl and move on to the next batch.
These chips are crispy, salty, sweet, and some of the best chips I’ve ever had.
Betsy and I completely housed a whole bowl of these with no problem.
When she tried her first chip she looked at me and said, “What the hell did you do to these? They’re amazing.”
Of course, the secret is the seasoning. It’s pretty serious.