Batata frita (Sweet Potato Fries) is a very simple food that can either be served as an appetizer or as a side dish. It's quick and easy to make.
Tostones, yuca frita, and batata frita are the real Dominican "fries". These tasty, gently sweet, sweet potato fries are a common offering in street frituras (fried food street vendors), but I also love them as finger food, and – served with a dip – a nice appetizer.
Batata was part of the Taino diet long before a European ever set foot on this side of the planet. As frying was not part of the Taino cuisine repertoire, we have to partly credit our Spanish ancestors for giving us this method of cooking.
Batata is another root vegetable, and known as sweet potato in English, though the particular type of sweet potato Dominicans know as batata is known as boniato or Japanese jam in the English-speaking world.
Its name originates from the Taino language and it grew on our island in pre-Columbian times. In the US sweet potatoes are often mislabeled as yams. Yams are of Asian/African origin.
There are many varieties of sweet potatoes. The one with orange flesh common in the US is now available in the DR, the most common one here has purple skin and greenish flesh. It is also sweeter and richer in starch than the orange one. This is important because in some dishes the lack of starch will yield poor results in your recipe (check out other recipes with batata)
About this recipe
These simple fritters are usually found in frituras, the humble neighborhood food stands, served as side dishes, but also as appetizers in fancier restaurants. You can also serve them to accompany your meat dishes.
[Recipe + Video] Batata Frita (Sweet Potato Fries)
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of sweet potatoes, peeled
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 cups of oil for frying
- Cut: Slice the sweet potatoes into about ¼-inch thick slices or potato-fries-sized sticks.
- Salt: Mix water and salt. Soak the cassava or sweet potatoes in 4 cups of salted water for half an hour. Remove the cassava or sweet potatoes from the water. Discard the water. Pat cassava or sweet potatoes dry with a paper towel.
- Fry: Heat the oil over medium fire. Fry cassava or sweet potatoes until light golden (be careful with splatters). Rest on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Serving: Serve as a side dish with parrilladas (bbq), or as an appetizer with a dip.