Updated date:

How to Make Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Whether salted or seasoned, smothered in ketchup or Peruvian Aji Sauce, nothing satisfies like crisp sweet potato fries. Although a steady diet of fried food isn't healthy, the advantage of frying foods at home is the ability to choose a healthier cooking oil. Many restaurants reuse frying oil until it becomes a thick, toxic soup.

And what about the health benefits of sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and several trace minerals: selenium, zinc, and copper. They also contain quite a bit of protein, making them a healthier choice over regular French fries.

The higher moisture content of sweet potatoes, though, can make for soggy fries. So what's the secret to crispy but tender sweet potato fries? Soaking, dusting, and refrying. But first be sure to review the tips below for a safe deep-frying technique.

Crispy Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

10 min

40 min

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 (32-ounce or 1-liter) bottle vegetable oil, for frying
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • paprika, cumin and granulated garlic, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice sweet potatoes into matchsticks, about 1/4 inch thickness
  2. Soak sweet potato sticks in cold water for 30 minutes to 8 hours. If you don't have time to soak, just rinse and and pat dry.
  3. Pour two inches of vegetable oil into medium skillet or electric fryer. Preheat oil to 350 Fahrenheit.
  4. Pat potato sticks dry and dust with cornstarch. You'll need to fry them in several batches. Flash fry the first time for about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  5. Heat oil to 375 Fahrenheit. Refry potatoes, in batches, until golden and crispy. This will take about 5 minutes per batch.
  6. Drain fries on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and optional seasonings.
  7. Serve sweet potato fries immediately.
  8. Dip fries in Peruvian aji sauce, mayonnaise or ketchup.

Photo Tutorial

Cut sweet potatoes into matchsticks

Cut sweet potatoes into matchsticks

Soak for at least 30 minutes

Soak for at least 30 minutes

Drain and dry

Drain and dry

Double-fry for crispy fries

Double-fry for crispy fries

Tips

  • Follow safety precautions when deep-frying. Wear a heavy apron and long-sleeved shirt. Equip your kitchen with a fire extinguisher.
  • Choose a deep, heavy skillet.
  • A long-handled, slotted spoon and deep-frying thermometer are important tools for safe deep-frying.
  • A mandoline uniformly cuts potatoes and veggies, especially handy when julienning sweet potatoes for fries.
  • Try peanut oil or canola oil for frying. See How to Choose Healthy & Tasty Cooking Oils for more options. This article also covers information about saturated fats vs. unsaturated fats as well as smoke points.
  • Pour oil into a cold pan, leaving two inches of headroom in case the oil bubbles over.
  • Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. We fry sweet potato fries in 3 batches.
  • The key to crispy sweet potato fries: soaking, dusting with cornstarch, and refrying.
  • It's best not to reuse frying oil. Allow the oil to cool before disposing of it.
  • If you'd like more tips about how to cut potatoes into matchsticks for fries, I created a photo tutorial in this article: How to Make Crispy Homemade French Fries.
Orange and purple sweet potatoes

Orange and purple sweet potatoes

Why Soak Sweet Potatoes Before Frying?

Sweet potatoes have higher water content than baking potatoes, which makes for soggy fries. Soaking sweet potato matchsticks in water leaches away the starch and allows more water to escape the potatoes during frying.

Another benefit of soaking? Acrylamide is a substance that forms in fried carbohydrate-rich foods and has been shown to cause cancer. Soaking potatoes before frying reduces acrylamides by up to 48%!

Although a true sweet potato, Peruvian purples (see photo) are starchier, less sweet and nuttier in flavor than their orange counterparts. They also make extra crispy sweet potato fries!

Sweet potato fries and Peruvian aji sauce

Sweet potato fries and Peruvian aji sauce

Questions & Answers

Question: Can I make crispy sweet potato fries in the oven?

Answer: Yes, you can use this recipe to make baked sweet potato fries, although they won’t be as crispy as the fried version.

Question: Can sweet potatoes be stored in the freezer after soaking for future use?

Answer: Yes, you can slice the potatoes, soak them then dry well before freezing. Frozen potatoes will cool the frying oil so you will need to fry in smaller batches.

Question: I have a recipe for thrice-cooked French fries and I want to add some sweet potato fries to the mix for color. Can I prepare the sweet potatoes in the same manner as the Russet potatoes?

Answer: You can prep the sweet potato and Russet potatoes fries in the same way but when it is time to fry them in hot oil, I would fry them separately since the sweet potatoes take longer to crisp up than the Russet potatoes. You don’t want to end up with overly browned French fries.

Question: Do I skin the sweet potato before I cut into them for making sweet potato fries?

Answer: Yes, I always peel the sweet potatoes first and then slice them up. I’ll add that to the instruction to avoid future confusion.

Comments

Janelle from Houston on March 20, 2017:

yum! I love anything with sweet potatoes. Especially in Korean food.

BODYLEVIVE from Alabama, USA on January 29, 2017:

Great demo, I love sweet potatoes and I make the fries all the time. My family loves them. Thank you and be blessed.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 26, 2014:

Carb Diva, I'm glad your daughter will benefit from this recipe. Sweet potato fries are not only delicious. They also have beta carotene and other vitamins not found in regular potatoes. Thanks for your comment!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on March 25, 2014:

My daughter loves sweet potato fries, and I've never had (much) success in making them for her. My attempts have always resulted in something rather limp and wimpy. Thanks for a great hub. Will try soon.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 13, 2013:

Yes, DDE, and they're full of beta carotene, something I can't say about regular French fries!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 13, 2013:

Sweet potato fries looks so delicious and so easy to make

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on July 03, 2013:

GetitScene, how interesting that paprika is one of your favorite spices. It's a big export crop here in Peru. Enjoy the sweet potato fries and thanks for your comment.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on July 03, 2013:

Personally, sweet potatoes are not my favorite but my wife loves them so I guess I'll be making these for her. Great job including paprika, by the way. It's my favorite spice and I look for an excuse to include it in everything.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 31, 2013:

ThelmaAlberts, I'm glad this recipe brings back sweet memories. Thank you and have a great week!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on March 30, 2013:

Oh, my! This was my childhood fries snack. It was a very long time ago now. Thanks for reminding me this healthy sweet potato fries my mother used to fry. Happy Easter! Voted up and shared.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 24, 2013:

pstraubie, sweet potato fries are so delicious and offer health benefits we don't get from regular French fries. We usually use canola or corn oil, but there are other oils you can use. Check out my Hub on Choosing a Healthy Cooking Oil if you'd like more information. Thanks for coming by. I hope your grandsons enjoy them!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 24, 2013:

These look so good. I have only eaten them in a restaurant. Is there a particular oil that complements the flavor best?

My grandsons like these so I am anxious to try them

Every time I come here, I leave HUNGRY…

Thanks for sharing

Angels are on the way ps

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 16, 2013:

Kalmiya, the soaking step helps to eliminate some of the starches in the sweet potatoes. Oven baking is healthier, but of course the fries won't be as crispy as when fried. Dusting fries with cornstarch will help make them a little crisper, though. I'm glad you have access to great sweet potato fries! Thanks for your comment.

Kalmiya from North America on March 16, 2013:

Sweet potato fries are great! There's a place down the street from us that makes amazing sweet potato fries and I have them every time. I've been trying to make them at home just baking them in the oven but I didn't realize I should soak the sweet potato in water first. I'll try again. Thanks for this great tip!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 10, 2013:

Vacation Trip, I'm glad this recipe appeals to you. Thanks for the votes and comment!

Susan from India on March 10, 2013:

Wow.. This is simply mouth watering. Voted up and thanks for sharing.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 24, 2013:

CrisSp, I also love these sweet potato fries for their crispy texture and nutritiousness. I appreciate the vote, pin and share!

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on January 24, 2013:

Love sweet potato fries and this looks so delish! Gotta bookmark this one too. Nice photos and again, great tips.

Absolutely voting up, pinning and sharing!

Thanks.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 10, 2013:

Thank you for your kind words, DeborahNeyens! I prefer sweet potato fries over regular French fries. I appreciate your visit.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on January 10, 2013:

Your recipe hubs are always so wonderfully done with beautiful pictures. Excellent tip on soaking the potatoes first. Thanks!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 03, 2013:

Au fait, thanks so much for the votes and share! These are delicious fries and so much healthier than the average fry. Have a great day.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 02, 2013:

These fries look so delicious and I know sweet potatoes are so nutritious and good for you! I'm bookmarking this recipe because I think this is something my daughter would like too.

Voted you UP, interesting and awesome, gave you 5 stars, and I'm going to share this hub with my followers!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 28, 2012:

How interesting! Here in Peru we call sweet potatoes "camote", very similar. It must come from the Latin word? Fries dusted with sugar sounds delicious! Here's the link for Peruvian aji sauce: https://vespawoolf.hubpages.com/hub/Peruvian-Sauce... It's easy to make and very delicious! I hope it becomes one of your go-to recipes. Thank you for the vote and comment!

tattuwurn on December 28, 2012:

I love sweet potatoes! Here in the Philippines we call them "kamote". We do chips here too, but as you may know our penchant for anything sweet, we usually sprinkle the chips with sugar.

But one time we also dusted it with cheese powder and it was good too.

What is a Peruvian Aji sauce made of? Can you share its recipe, if you don't mind? Thanks. Voted up. :D

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 27, 2012:

Purl3agony, thanks for taking the time to comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 27, 2012:

Glimmer Twin Fan, sweet potatoes are at their peak right now in the US so enjoy them! Thanks so much for the share and pin!

Donna Herron from USA on December 27, 2012:

This recipe sounds wonderful!! Thanks!

Claudia Mitchell on December 27, 2012:

Wow these look terrific Vespa! Will definitely be making these soon! Shared and pinned.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 26, 2012:

Divacratus, the double fry method is for crispiness. Since sweet potatoes are higher in water content than other types of potatoes, they tend to be soggy when fried. The double fry helps crisp them up even more. I'm glad you found this recipe! The method really does work. Thank you for coming by.

Kalpana Iyer from India on December 26, 2012:

This was really interesting. I have a doubt regarding this recipe. Do you have to fry each batch of potatoes two times? You mentioned flash frying it for two minutes or so. Why is this done? My aunt did follow a similar recipe to make fries and it came out crispy but I forgot the reason for frying them two times over. This was the recipe I was looking for! Thanks so much. Voted Up and Awesome :)

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 25, 2012:

DebbyBruck, that is interesting data on reducing acrylamides. A steady diet of fried foods isn't healthy, anyway, but we do fry every once in a while and sweet potato fries are one of our favorites. It's nice to see you again!

Debby Bruck on December 25, 2012:

Hi Vespa - I love sweet potatoes. Enjoyed the tips on soaking, which I would do with white potatoes, as well. This was news to me: "Soaking potatoes before frying reduces acrylamides by up to 48%" Everything you make looks yummy.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 22, 2012:

Om Paramapoonya, sweet potato fries are definitely a flavorful choice! And sweet potatoes are so nutritious, too. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Om Paramapoonya on December 22, 2012:

Lovely! I'd choose sweet potato fries over regular French fries any time. They just taste a lot better to me, even when they are soggy. Thanks a lot for the recipe and tips.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 22, 2012:

Keepyouinstitches, I'm so glad up plan to try these fries. The three steps make the sweet potatoes so much crispier. Enjoy and thank you for taking the time to comment!

Erica J from Seattle, WA on December 22, 2012:

I have to try this! I have been choosing sweet potato fries over plain fries when I eat out lately and have been thinking about making them myself. Now I know how to do it, thanks!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 22, 2012:

Minababe, enjoy the fries and thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 22, 2012:

Rebeccamealey, the olive oil, butter and lemon sounds delicious! I also enjoy seasoning fries, whether oven baked or fried. It complements their flavor so well. Thank you for coming by!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 22, 2012:

Suzanne, sweet potatoes are such a nice way to get more Vitamin A into our diets. This fried version, although not as healthy as baked, is not for a treat now and then. Enjoy and thanks so much for the comment, votes and pin! Have a great weekend.

minababe on December 22, 2012:

Great recipe-- definitely going to try this!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on December 22, 2012:

This sounds like a great way to fix sweet potato fries. I have been brushing mine with a mixture of olive oil, a little butter and lemon juice, and baking them. Then I turn on the broiler for just a few minutes to make them crispier. I sprinkle them with a little sea salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Thanks for sharing this.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on December 22, 2012:

Hi vespa,

What a lovely idea that I have never done. Sweet potatoes are not something I have used or eaten much here but I used to love them when living in New Zealand. These sound great and if fries can be healthy then these are the healthy option for sure!! Love the tips and in-depth info on this "spud" down to the best oils to use and why pre soak the potatoes. Love to try this with your sauce!

Thanks for another great recipe VU, Interesting, Awesome, Useful, Shared and Pinned!!!!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 21, 2012:

Triciajean, thanks so much for the publishing tip! It would be amazing to have my own cookbook. I try to include sweet potatoes in our diet on a regular basis since they're so full of Vitamin A. Thanks so much for your support!

Patricia Lapidus from Bantam, CT on December 21, 2012:

Thanks for a yummy recipe, vespawoolf. I learned to love sweet potatoes when I lived on The Farm in Tennessee. The Farm is an intentional community originally founded by spiritual hippies. They continue to publish cook books. If you decide to create one, the Book Publishing Company on The Farm would be good outlet for you. Voted up.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 21, 2012:

Carol, fall and winter is peak season for sweet potatoes, so these fries are an inexpensive and delicious way to enjoy seasonal produce. Enjoy and thanks for your comment!

carol stanley from Arizona on December 21, 2012:

sounds delicious and this is a definite going to make. Thanks for sharing and great photos.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 21, 2012:

Billybuc, they're even healthier when baked in the oven, but Iike to fry them up when we have guests. Thank you for taking the time to comment and I hope you have a great weekend, too!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 21, 2012:

Michele Travis, please feel free to print this recipe out and put it in your cookbook. Enjoy! Thank you for coming by.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2012:

We started eating these about a year ago instead of regular french fries. Love them! Thanks for the tips, and I hope you have a great weekend.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on December 21, 2012:

That looks wonderful and very yummy. Do you mind if I print this out and put it in my cookbook? I would love to keep it there.

Thanks

Voted up!