Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ottolenghi's Sweet Potato Cakes

I am continuing my cooking adventures with the I Heart Cooking Clubs as we get to know Yotam Ottolenghi.  This week's theme was "Get Back to Your Roots."  I had bought a 5 lb. box of sweet potatoes that was on sale from the grocery store a couple of weeks ago.  I knew this week's Ottolenghi theme would be a perfect opportunity to use them up.  A couple of other participants had already made these and given them good reviews.  I didn't end up making the dipping sauce that goes with these and just served with some sour cream that I had.  I know the other reviewers said the sauce made the recipe.  So, I'm not sure if I missed out on anything by not making it.  However, I enjoyed these with just the sour cream.  You must like sweet potatoes though if you're thinking of making these.  The sweet potato flavor really stands out with a little heat from the pepper (though I only used a jalapeno, not the red chile the original recipe called for!).  Instead of steaming the potatoes like the original recipe called for, I ended up boiling, draining, and mashing them like I would if I was making mashed sweet potatoes.  This definitely cut down on the cooking and prep time that the original recipe needed.  Unfortunately, my son who enjoys sweet potatoes wasn't a big fan of these.  I knew my daughter, who doesn't like sweet potatoes to begin with wouldn't like these, so I halved the recipe, as shown in the amounts below.  But my husband I enjoyed them.  These are best eaten the day they are made.  The leftovers didn't taste as good!
Sweet Potato Cakes
recipe adapted from Plenty:  Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi

Yield: 2 servings as posted (original recipe yields 4)

1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp scallions, chopped
1 tsp jalapeno pepper finely choped
lots of butter, for frying
sour cream for topping

Fill large sauce pan with water and bring to boil over high heat.  Once boiling, add potato chunks and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain and let cool for about fifteen minutes. Place in a large mixing bowl and mash with fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients except the butter.  Mix the ingredients by hand - it should be sticky, so if it's a little runny, add some flour. Do not over-mix.

Melt some butter in a nonstick pan.  Add spoonfuls of batter to pan and flatten with a spatula into discs that are approximately 2 inches in diameter and 3/8 inch think.  Fry on moderate heat until you get a nice, brown crust, about six minutes on each sode. Place between two sheets of kitchen towel, to soak up the excess butter. Serve warm, topping with sour cream if desired.

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.


  1. Have seen it at Mairi's and now here! I love sweet potatoes and have bookmarked this to try. We love sweet potatoes in my house, I'm very sure my family will enjoy this as well. Looks delicious!

  2. These sweet potato fritters have definitely been popular. They sound delicious, and sour cream was a great alternative to the dipping sauce. I can't wait to give these a try.

  3. I would love to get my hands on a 5lb box of sweet potatoes :) It sounds like these sweet potato cakes had mixed reviews in your house. I do agree with you, you definitely need to be a fan of sweet potatoes to enjoy these. I like your idea to use sour cream as a topping. That little tang from the sour cream is a good compliment.

  4. I have been drooling over this recipe for a while now. Now I just need a 5-lb box of sweet potatoes! ;-)