I first tasted Lays potato chips in middle school. It’s not like I didn’t eat snacks when I was younger. I ate a lot actually. They’re just not in the glossy packages and sold in supermarkets. I bought my snacks from hawkers and street stalls. These snacks were produce-driven food. They’re seasonal, fresh and hot. Every kid loved the rubbery meatballs on skewers dipped in sweet and spicy sauce with fresh cabbage and cucumber on the side. We would be in queue to buy them and eat them as soon as possible. Other than that, we had handmade prawn crackers, sugar coated banana chips, fresh fruits from the farms dusted in chili-sugar salt, hot sweet potato balls, steamed stuffed sago balls, decadent sticky rice dumpling tossed in shredded coconut … the list went on and on. It would take me a while to just list all the names of Thai sweet and savory snacks, and the more I write about it, the more craving stirs in my stomach. Now it’s funny to think of why I caved in to the commercialized snacks because of their saltiness and convenience. Freshly-made local food is under-appreciated somehow.
I remembered one particular gawker quite well. An energetic lady set up her cart in front of my school every day. She worked from dawn to dusk. Her cart was filled with crispy golden fried snacks. Hot oil bubbled all day as the smell of coconut and sesame seed purled from it. There were two only 2 things in her cart— fried banana and fried sweet potato. These beautiful ingredients were dipped in the batter made with rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, freshly grated coconut and sesame seeds; and then they’re deep-fried to perfection. Hot, sweet, nutty and crispy. It’s difficult not to look at her shop. She fried hundreds of bananas a day, and every batch she took out of the oil would be disappeared before they got cold. These crunchy sweet things were sold in paper bags which we could grab and go in seconds. It’s perfect for breakfast, and most days, I bought them after school as well.
I posted the recipe of Thai Fried Banana before. Here is the sweet potato version. The recipes are the same. Instead of banana, we are using sweet potato. It’s very hearty and indulging. This recipe produces soft sweet potato against the crunchy nutty exterior. The best thing is: it’s very easy to make at home.
Thai Fried Sweet Potato
6 Sweet Potato peeled, thinly sliced into flat and thin pieces
1 cup rice flour
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sesame seed
1 cup coconut milk
Oil for deep frying
Sift rice flour, flour and baking powder together in the mixing bowl.
Add salt, sugar, and gradually add coconut milk and mix well to create smooth batter. Add a little water if required.
Add sesame seed, coconut, and stir well.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan to medium heat. This should be about 180 degree C.
Dip sweet potato slices in the batter and deep fry them until golden brown. Serve hot.