I was planning to post another recipe next but then I finally cracked the code for the ULTIMATE crispy sweet potato fries, which obviously gets bumped to #1 priority. If you’ve tried making them before, you know that it can be very hit or miss. If you haven’t, don’t worry because I did all of the technique researching and testing for you. (By the way, there are a lot of recipes out there falsely promoting crispiness.)
The hardest part is cutting the potato into thin, equal-sized fries — and I admit that this is probably what was holding me back before. I just don’t have the patience…except when I know it’s worthwhile, which I now do.
This probably isn’t the recipe to tackle with the old knife you found in your apartment that’s kind of been doing a decent job. My mom got me this chef’s knife a few years ago (she must’ve known I was on my way to becoming Chef Shiv!), and it’s the only one I use. That knife plus this basic sharpener will set you back less than $40 and upgrade your kitchen game so much.
Back to the fries…I don’t want to say that the cooling rack is necessary because I know a lot of my beginner cooks / mini-NYC-kitchen people probably don’t have one — but I think it’s a key factor. Try it without, though, and I bet the other tips (cutting the fries evenly, soaking them, using starch, etc.) will be enough to give you some deliciously crispy fries. Lmk in the comments below how it goes!
Perfectly Crispy Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 large (or 2 small) sweet potatoes/jewel yams*
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch** (or cornstarch)
- ~1 tbsp avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2-4 tbsp good-quality ketchup (no high-fructose corn syrup)
Peel the potato and (carefully!) cut it into 1/4-inch wide sticks, making sure they’re as close to the same size as possible for even cooking. You may need to slice off some edges to even them out.
Soak the fries in a large bowl filled with cold, slightly salted water for about 45 minutes (or as long as you have – at least give them a good rinse).
Move a rack to the top position of the oven and preheat it to 400 F. Put a cooling rack on a large cookie sheet (I use 13”x17”). You can also line it with parchment paper but you probably won’t get the same crispiness. If you don’t have parchment, put the fries directly on the pan (don’t use foil).
Drain the fries and dry them well. In the same large bowl (wiped dry), toss the fries with the starch. Drizzle in just enough oil to lightly coat the fries, and toss again. Sprinkle in the paprika, garlic powder, salt and cayenne if using; toss.
Spread the fries in an even layer on top of the cooling rack. Make sure they’re evenly spaced – if the pan is too crowded, you’re better off baking them in batches. Bake at 400 F for 25-30 mins (if you’re not using a cooling rack, flip them halfway). Then broil on high for about a minute, watching them closely. When they start to puff up and get slightly charred, they’re done. Enjoy asap!
**I keep a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch in my fridge and use it as a 1-1 replacement for cornstarch, which is super processed. Arrowroot starch is tasteless and serves the same purpose. It’s definitely more expensive, but you only need a tablespoon or two at a time (for very few recipes).
If you love sweet potatoes, try my BBQ Sweet Potato Pizza!