Fried White Sweet Potato

21 Apr

There are two kinds of sweet potatoes – white sweet potato and the orangy sweet potato we call batata mameya.  Most Americans are familiar with the orangy kind, which I believe can also be called yam.



The white sweet potato, or batata blanca, is much sweeter and versatile than its mameya counterpart.  I really like it baked in the oven, which is a very traditional side dish to eat at BBQ rotisserie chicken stands.  But my grandma also used to make it for us fried… it’s a nice alternative to a plantain tostón or french-fries…                




1 white sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin
Canola oil for frying
Salt, optional


  1. In a large skillet, pour about ½” of oil…  heat it at medium-high heat.
  2. While the oil heats up, prep the sweet potato… I peel it using a vegetable peeler because I am not too good peeling using a knife.  The sweet potato will start to get dark after being exposed to the air a few seconds.  Don’t worry, it’s normal and it will not change the texture or taste of the sweet potato.
  3. After you’ve peeled and sliced the sweet potato and the oil is hot enough…  start frying.  The sweet potato will take a while to fry because of its moisture content…  but with patience, it will cook on the inside and get crispy on the outside.  The thinner you slice the potato, the faster they will cook and the crispier it will be.  They should be golden brown, without any burned spots.
  4. Drain them onto a plate with paper towel and sprinkle with some salt if you want…  I usually do not salt them.

11 Responses to “Fried White Sweet Potato”

  1. Jennifer April 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen the white sweet potatoes at the store… I’ll have to keep an eye out for them. I’d like to try them – I love sweet potatoes.

  2. Liz April 25, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    Over here (in New Zealand) they’re called kumara

  3. Nancy November 9, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    For the past several summers, I have planted the bright green sweet potato vine in my window boxes. It was a wonderful shock of color and unfortunately, the deer loved it. However, as I emptied the window boxes yesterday for the winter, I discovered that white sweet potatoes had grown in the soil! I have eight decent sized potatoes, and I will try frying them tonight!

  4. milcarnivore January 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    These look fantastic! I also don’t know that I’ve ever seen white sweet potatoes in my local markets (I live in the Pacific Northwest). Would you recommend substituting orange sweet potatoes? Is there any other vegetable that you think would be a good substitute?

    • karmafreecooking January 17, 2010 at 9:58 am #

      Orange sweet potatoes are not as starchy and they do not fry well… in my opinion. Try with some taro root (malanga) used very frequently in Hawaiian cooking or even some yautías… like the ones you see here. And keep trying to look out for those other varieties of sweet potatoes, they’re out there. Good luck.

  5. Gigi June 2, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    I LOVE the white sweet potatoes! I also love the yams–orange ones. Baked in the oven, baked in the microwave OR fried, just as you would fry raw regular potatoes. I love to do them with raw onions—I put them in the skillet first after warming olive oil. You can add yams along with them—it is pretty and makes a nice combination. I have used yams with regular potatoes also, but they take less time to cook so I add them halfway through. I like to add mushrooms also! They don’t necessarily get crisp, but they are delicious!

    I will say that in Alaska (on our island) they are VERY expensive, but when they are on sale, they sell quickly! Enjoy!

  6. Gigi June 2, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    Hey! Wait a minute! The picture on this page appears to be a “white sweet potato” with a red peeling! The ones I referred to have a peel the same color as the light creme colored insides!

    • karmafreecooking June 2, 2010 at 10:36 am #

      Gigi, I hear you… the white sweet potatoes we have available here in Puerto Rico are lighter skinned too… like a soft pink almost. But they’re super sweet, to me sweeter than the yams, or batata mameyas, as we call them in Spanish. So glad to know KFC has readers in Alaska… love it!!!!

  7. kimberly January 6, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    please is it normal for some white sweet potatos to have spots or lines of orange color in them thinks kimberly

    • KarmaFree Cooking January 11, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      Kimberly… my apologies for taking so long to respond. I was away on vacation for a few days and it’s today that I am getting up to speed with everything. I would have to see the sweet potato to help you determine what is normal and what’s not, but usually, large grey or discolored spots are not good. Just cut them out and cook the rest… but when in doubt, just throw it away and start with a fresh sweet potato. Good luck…

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