I remember my first visit to Asia in 1990. As an American-born Chinese, my local hosts were eager (and proud) to show off big-city sights, sounds--and eats--of Beijing. Even though I was looking forward to authentic street food, perhaps a steamed buns or a big bowl of beef soup with handmade Chinese noodles? Instead I was escorted to...Kentucky Fried Chicken!? "It's the newest and busiest place in town--VERY expensive. One meal costs the equivalent of a month's pay!" my host explained, as I gasped in disbelief. Not wanting to offend, I accepted the royal visitor treatment. Even in America, I didn't eat at KFC. Luckily, I discovered that KFC Beijing offered a twist on the classic American menu with a nod to local palates--sweet potato fries with a dusting of ginger! This is my version with Korean Yams which are less moist and hold up better than traditional sweet potatoes under prime "chip" conditions!
Spiced Korean Yam Fries
Korean yams (dark red skin, white flesh)
corn starch or sweet potato starch
grated fresh ginger
sea salt, fine
vegetable or peanut oil for frying
Wasabi Garlic Aioli (dipping sauce)
wasabi powder or paste
In This Recipe
Peel and cut yams into strips.
Mix water and corn starch into a paste
Coat and toss yam strips in paste and seasonings.
Deep fry in small batches (1 cup at a time) in hot vegetable oil until golden brown.
Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot with Wasabi Garlic Aoili on the side.