Sweet Potato Fritters with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

sweet potato fries recipe
Remember GFB’s coconut batter-fried sweet potatoes from last year? This version is just as good, if not better. The batter is simpler and lighter. The sweet potatoes are shredded more finely into long, thin strands, resulting in much, much crispier, bird’s nest-like fritters that bear more resemblance to shoestring potatoes than potato fries. The only thing that remains the same is the dipping sauce, a perfect mixture of Thai sweet chilli sauce, chopped roasted peanuts, and chopped fresh cilantro. Some things just can’t be improved upon, I guess.

sweet potato fritter recipe
Downloadable Instructions

To make enough of these fritters as an appetizer for six people (or four hungry people), you need 1.5 pounds of sweet potatoes. Peel them and shred them as finely as you can into long, thin strands. If you have a food processor that can do that, that’s great. If not, go for the Kiwi Pro-Slice Thai Peeler. These uni-tasking hand-shredders don’t take up much space, and do the job very well. I have one just for shredding green papaya to make Thai papaya salad (Som Tam ส้มตำ).

sweet potato fries recipe
For extra crispy fritters — the kind that, as you bite into them, creates the crackling noises in your skull like those you get from bad radio station reception — you may want to add this extra step. Spread out the sweet potato strands in a single layer on a large cookie sheet and let them dehydrate in a very low oven — 100°F — for 2-3 hours. Some discoloration will occur, but it’s not so bad and the crispiness you get out of it more than makes up for the slightly marred appearance.

You see, moisture inside whatever it is you’re frying is precisely what makes it soggy. Moisture turns into steam when heated and the only way to ensure crispiness and long retention of that crispiness is to eliminate as much moisture as possible from the object.

sweet potato fries
However, if you don’t want to add that extra step, that’s perfectly fine, especially if you know you will consume all of these delicious fritters within an hour or two after they’ve been fried.

The next step is to whisk together 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) of rice flour and one teaspoon of salt with 8 fluid ounces (one cup) of either plain carbonated water or plain water with one teaspoon of baking soda added. Add the sweet potato strands to the batter and stir just to make sure each and every strand is well coated.

potato fritter recipe
What I hate the most about frying anything is the fact that I have to dispose of the oil afterward. Therefore, I limit the amount of the oil by using a small frying pan and fry in more batches. For this large batch, I used only 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil and shallow-fried the fritters in an 8-inch fry pan.

One really great thing about these fritters is that they absorb surprisingly very little oil (the leftover oil measured a couple of tablespoons shy of a cup after I’d fried up the entire batch). Since the batter is very light and the sweet potato strands are very thin, they crisp up almost immediately the moment they hit the oil. Once one side browns up, you flip it over and in less than a minute it’s ready. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined pan immediately.

crispy sweet potato fries recipe
The trick is to spread out the potato “nests” when you lower the strands into the pan. The more spread-out the nests, the less moisture retention. The less moisture, the more quickly they crisp up and the longer they stay crisp. Also, don’t crowd the pan. You want the oil temperature to stay as even as possible. Crowding the pan will cause the temperature to dip too low and cause the fritters to absorb too much oil.

crunchy sweet potato recipe
For the dipping sauce, mix together 1.5 cups of Thai sweet chilli sauce, 1/2 cup of chopped roasted peanuts, and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves.

15 Responses to Sweet Potato Fritters with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

  1. Bob February 21, 2010 at 3:57 am #

    Ok, that’s just brutal. Those look wicked, wicked good.

  2. Mother Rimmy February 21, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    This looks absolutely mouth-watering!! Yum! I love sweet chili sauce!

  3. Jenn February 21, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    cool. They look like little bird nests. Delicious! I’m definitely going to give this a try.

  4. MaryMoh February 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Yes, my BIG favourite!!! I love it…..looking at the picture is suffering 😛

  5. Manggy February 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Or you can really be over the top and dehydrate them by deep-frying them once at a lower temperature, heh heh 😉 Can’t wait to see the result of this battle! I’m loving the entries already!

  6. OysterCulture February 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Oh my, thank goodness I just picked up some sweet potatoes yesterday. Had no idea what I was going to do with them until now. These fritters look incredible and with the addition of the Thai sweet chili sauce, well I am just not sure it gets any better.

  7. Michele February 21, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    What an unusual recipe. The fritters look delicious!

  8. 5 Star Foodie February 23, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    I love how perfectly crispy these fritters are! My daughter would just love them!

  9. R. February 23, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Beautiful fritters! I can only imagine how the blend of sweet, hot and crispiness is!

  10. pigpigscorner February 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    wow that’s a cool peeler! I like how they are so thin and crisps!

  11. Lauren - Ephemerratic.com February 24, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    I’ve been looking for these exact shredders, and it’s great to have a recommendation or three. Thanks.

  12. Arwen from Hoglet K March 5, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    They look lovely and crisp and spidery!

  13. montreal florist November 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    I love this slicer. It’s really useful for cooking.

  14. Amanda July 28, 2011 at 2:08 am #

    I realize I’m late to the party here, but I really wanted to comment. I read this post a few weeks ago (I love your site) and it inspired me so much that I found the Kiwi slicer on ebay, ordered it, received it today and made these tonight. They were WONDERFUL…even better than I imagined. I eat sweet potatoes almost daily, but had never made them in this manner. They were perfect. I made a half-recipe, using 1/2 cup brown rice flour and 1/4 cup chickpea flour.

    thanks so much for the inspiration! Can’t wait to use my slicer again soon.

  15. Kitchen Barbarian June 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Just a note – you do NOT have to dispose of the oil after deep frying. You filter it, I use flour sack towels lining a strainer. Then you pour it into a jar or dark wine bottle (cleaned out of wine, of course! and use a funnel), stopper it, store it in a cool dry place, and reuse at least 80% old oil with fresh next time you fry.

    Frying actually makes chemical changes in the oil that ENHANCE future deep frying action; you will get better browning from “old” oil. I reuse at least 3 times, 4 unless it’s getting too dark. I use peanut oil; it stands up to deep frying better than most vegetable oils.

    You must filter the oil for reuse, but other than that, it’s no big deal.