Saturday, November 29, 2008

Don't be afraid- it's easy really

Candy Sweet Potatoes
1 lb sweet potatoes,scrubbed peeled and cut into 2" chunks
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Timing is everything here.
Heat oil to 350 degrees and start frying potatoes. Immediately start cooking your sugar syrup in a medium size pot to about 300 degrees(this can take 20 minutes +/- and seems like it will never happen and then you go from 280 degrees to burnt in a blink so use a candy thermometer and then look at it often) stirring occasionally.
Hopefully your potatoes will be ready when the syrup is done because the syrup is a one off, it won't wait on the potatoes- which by this time should be golden brown and puffed. Remove potatoes from the oil and drain on paper towels. If your syrup isn't ready- KEEP THE OIL HOT- and briefly reintroduce the potatoes before stirring them into the syrup which you will have just removed from the heat. Quickly stir them to coat and pour them onto a plate that you have lightly greased and seperate the chunks some. These are best served hot along side a small bowl of cold water into which you dip your hot sugar potato to make it "crack" before you bite into it-and cool it off a bit too of course. Or just let them cool off a bit on their own-they will still have the crunch though they will have hardened together and be harder to seperate.
This dish is one we ate often the year we were in China. We ate it "family style" with chopsticks and that's the way we like it best but of course you can do whatever you like at your house.

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