Sweet potatoes are up there with a good hair cut, purring cats, and sunlight through fiery autumn leaves. The simple sweetness is all I need on a chilly evening. But it’s not all about the coppery hued variety, which litter my counter tops like fallen leaves. There’s such a thing as white sweet potatoes, too.
Rwandans love sweet potatoes, especially white sweet potatoes which they boil, mash, and even fry. I first saw this in action on the a Peace Corps blog En Route Rwanda:
With help from some of our house mates and dinner guests, we peeled and sliced several kilos of knobby white sweet potatoes, which Zilpa then spent hours double-frying on the second charcoal stove.
According to the Rwanda Agricultural Research Institute:
Sweet potato is a major staple food in Rwanda and one of the second largest produces in terms of tons after bananas. The ability of sweet potato to adapt to a wide range of growing conditions, in both fertile and marginal areas, as well as its rapid growth rate as a ground cover to help in the control of weeds, makes it a versatile crop for Rwandan farming systems.Today I’m going to give you a few tips on frying white sweet potatoes.
Let’s do it, Rwanda-style.
White sweet potatoes
Oil to go halfway up the sides of medium pot
Time for a little bit of wonderful. Build yourself a kitchen fit for a Rwandan king…
Then, preheat a bunch of oil in a pot. The oil should only go halfway up the side of the pot to keep it from bubbling over when you add the potatoes. Then slice the potatoes up into batons – a.k.a. long, even sticks. Let them soak in cold water as you work.
Rinse, drain, and towel them off, getting them as dry as possible (so you don’t create dangerous oil splatters when you drop them in).
Fry the potatoes in batches… twice. First in 325F oil. Cook for 3 minutes until soft but not browning. Remove & drain.
Then cook at 350F for 2-3 minutes
The don’t really crisp up much because of the high sugar content in the sweet potato, but they do turn an interesting brownish orange color.
Plus, like any good steak fry, you won’t be able to stop eating them.
If you want them crispier, try slicing them like shoestrings and cooking more briefly.
Enjoy with a view that looks remarkably like, well, a sweet potato.
Happy Friday, friends!
P.S. Have you ever had sweet potatoes?