After eating sweet potato fries in restaurants numerous times, I decided it was time to try my hand at making them. However, I was determined not to bake them. That’s cheating. I wanted real, restaurant-quality fried sweet potato fries. So I bought a tub of palm shortening (because #Paleo), burned myself several times, and ultimately ended up with these delicious, bacon-y, salty sweet potato fries.
The secret is to fry them twice for optimum crispiness. Full disclosure: this was the first time I ever deep fried anything in my life and it’s a little harder than you’d imagine. Just get yourself a cooking thermometer and don’t be too hurt if you add another burn scar to your cooking wound collection. Think of it as a symbol of a job well-done.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rest Time: 30-60 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes
Total Time: approximately 45-75 minutes
For the fries
2-3 large sweet potatoes
5 slices bacon (I like Applegate Organic Sunday Bacon)
1 container palm shortening
salt, to taste
For the aioli
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
zest from 1 lime
1 clove garlic
3/4-1 cup olive oil
- Peel sweet potato.
- Chop ends off of sweet potato, and then chop sweet potato in half horizontally. This will make the sweet potato easier to manipulate while chopping.
- Slice your sweet potato halves vertically this time, doing your best to make each slice about 1⁄2 inch wide.
- Next cut vertically again, about 1⁄2 inch wide so slices look like fries.
- Continue chopping in this way until you’ve sliced all of your sweet potatoes.
- Place cut fries in a large bowl.
- Fill bowl with ice cold water and ice cubes.
- Set bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This process removes starch from the fries so they can get crispy.
- While fries are in the refrigerator, add all aioli ingredients except olive oil to your food processor.
- Pulse a few times until ingredients are fully combined.
- Once ingredients are combined, turn food processor on and slowly add olive oil in a thin stream until all used.
- Remove finished aioli to a separate bowl and chill in the fridge, if desired.
- After fries have chilled for 30 minutes to 1 hour, remove to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb water.
- Pat fries with a towel to get them as dry as possible.
- Add container of palm shortening to a medium sauce or sauté pan on high heat.
- Using a thermometer, bring the temperature of the shortening up to 350 degrees. If you overshoot this temperature, it is okay because it will go back down once the fries are added.
- Once shortening is at your desired temperature, add a small batch of fries.
- Let fries cook in oil for 3-4 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare another baking sheet with paper towels to absorb the grease.
- Once fries have been in oil for 3-4 minutes, remove to the baking sheet.
- Repeat this process until all fries have made it into the oil and onto the baking sheet.
- While fries are cooling, add bacon to oil.
- Fry bacon for approximately 2 minutes, or until cooked fully. Keep an eye on the bacon, as it can cook faster depending on the thickness.
- Remove cooked bacon to another plate lined with paper towels to absorb the grease.
- Raise temperature of shortening to 375-400 degrees.
- Add fries again in small batches, frying for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Repeat again until all fries have been fried twice and removed to the baking sheet.
- Chop crispy fried bacon as small as possible, ideally to the same size as your salt.
- In a large bowl, add cooked fries, chopped bacon, and salt.
- Toss until seasoning is distributed over fries.
- Remove to a plate and serve with aioli.