Friday night. You know what that means, don’t you? TAIWANESE YAM FRIES!! Technically sweet potato fries, but potato pototo.
I know, trust me, I will get out more, but I think it’s important to sometimes just stop and smell the tubers. Besides, I think I’m gonna have a busy weekend so I can’t waste much time with elaborate meals.
The recipe is easy – took me a bit to figure out what all those roadside stalls used on their fries to make them so beguilingly tasty. Turns out the missing ingredient was plain old chilly powder. Slapped myself on the forehead a few times (it even smells right – if I’d bothered to smell it), but at least I finally got it all together.
I like the fries chunky, about the girth and length of a chubby finger or thumb. The kind of chubby that too many yam fries produces. Should be called yum fries.
Another ancient Chinese secret is a delicate coating of corn starch. Fries, bit of oil, toss — starch, black pepper, toss — boo-yah! And one other thing I discovered the hard way was that the oil should be fairly hot; err in that direction. Nothing worse than a flaccid fry, let me tell you.
They’re done when they’re golden brown and floating on top (assuming you’re using that much oil). I let ‘em drip in a sieve for a while, admiring their delicate surfaces all crispy and crunchy and inviting, and toss with some salt and the chilly powder. I then usually finish by burning my tongue in the premature tasting.
Mmmm. Savoury. And I think if you get a sensible oil (which can be strained and re-used at least a few times), and are sparing with the salt, it’s also not too bad for you. Plenty of grease-laden beta-Carotene and vitamin A, from what I understand. Also, a complete lack or arsenic and radioactive isotopes. How’s that for health benefits?!
Okay, well, that bowl has finally cooled enough to let me near so I’m going to go and clog some arteries. After that, the weekend pretty much starts itself.