December 08, 2010

Spicy Asian Sweet Potato Stir-Fry

Disclaimer: I know that Asia is, like, a whole continent and stuff, but my made-up recipe includes ingredients that are traditional in several different types of Asian cuisine. Instead of choosing one reasonably close fit, I decided to go with the whole of Asia instead. I'm open-minded like that.

I refuse to make anything resembling a marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole during the Sweet Potato Challenge of 2010, so I've been trying to find cool, alternative sweet potato recipes (now I'm picturing a sweet potato with a mohawk and an All-American Rejects T-shirt).

Last night, I decided to make a riff on Mark Bittman's Sweet Potato Stir-Fry and give it an Asian twist for no real reason other than I wanted to use a jalapeno I had laying around. It turned out so good that I ate the whole thing for dinner (don't worry, T had overnight duty...I didn't make him go hungry).

Spicy Asian Sweet Potato Stir-Fry

  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped lemongrass or grocery store lemongrass paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
 1. In a medium skillet, heat most of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot (it will start to look like it's rippling), add celery and onions and sauté until tender. Once tender, add jalapenos, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger.
2. Once you can smell the garlic, add the sweet potatoes, soy sauce, sesame oil, and the rest of the vegetable oil, and crank up the heat to almost high. Sauté the mixture, stirring only a few times, until the sweet potatoes start to brown and crisp up a bit. (Sorry about the steam!)
3. Using tongs, transfer the stir-fry to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Or if you're me, just transfer the whole thing to a large bowl and eat it in one go.

Clearly, I ate this as my dinner last night, but it could also work perfectly alongside some brown rice or noodles, or with teriyaki-marinated chicken or steak. Thanks, all of Asia, for contributing your sweet, spicy, and savory flavors to my dinner!


  1. You continue to impress me with your recipes and I am becoming a little jealous of your life and creativity!

  2. You definitely beat me tonight. We had baked sweet potatoes and stuffed chicken... but the chicken was store-bought, pre-stuffed and all I had to do to both was throw them in the oven.