If you’ve ever tried to make sweet potato chips before, you’ll most likely know that often they will turn out disappointingly soft, and not as crisp as you had imagined. The perfect sweet potato chip is tricky to master, but not to fear, as I’m about to share a few simple tips for the tastiest, crunchiest chips you’ve ever eaten.
1. Scrub your sweet potatoes to remove any dirt, and then slice in to thin matchsticks, no thicker than ½ cm. If your chips are too thick, they won’t cook evenly through the middle. It’s also essential they are all cut to the same size so they cook at the same rate.
2. Next, place them in a large bowl or container, and cover with cold water. Allow to sit for at least half an hour to an hour, this removes any excess starch from the vegetable.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 200C, ensuring the rack you will bake the chips on is in the top half of your oven.
4. Drain the sweet potato chips, place on a tea towel, and pat dry.
5. Transfer to a large baking dish, and coat very lightly in olive oil or melted coconut oil. If you use too much oil, they will end up oily and soggy (and we don’t want that, do we!). I use about 1 Tbsp olive oil for two large sweet potatoes.
6. If you wish to add any additional flavour, now is the time. I like a light sprinkle of smoked paprika, chilli flakes and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. A light dusting of cumin or fennel seeds is another idea. Hold off on the salt until later. Salt draws out moisture from the sweet potato, making the chips soft. I’m certainly guilty of doing this in the past! The same goes for seasonings that contain salt.
7. Ensure the chips are spread out evenly on the tray in single file, without overlapping. This will stop any excess moisture getting between them. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway to ensure that all sides are evenly cooked.
8. Once the chips are ready, turn off your oven, and leave them inside for an extra 5-10 minutes, allowing them to reach maximum crispness. Serve warm with a dip of some kind – I enjoy homemade aioli, sour cream or thick, natural yoghurt, and a scattering of freshly chopped Italian parsley.