This authentically unauthentic recipe of Kung-Pao Sweet potato (that too baked,,,,, not deep-fried) is a result of my healthy mind frame, that is empowering all the decisions, nowadays. I am happy in this phase because it’s making me think innovative and I am experimenting a lot in the kitchen. The recipes that turns-up real good, are shared in the blog here with you.
I would not call this Kung-Pao sweet potato recipe as a clean-eating or gut-healthy recipe, because of the presence of various sauces. Instead, it’s a low-cal, more nutritious version of this popular Indo-Chinese, sweet-sour finger licking kung-pao potatoes.
The original recipe calls for parboiled potatoes, which are deep-fried and then are added to the combination of sweet, sour, spicy sauces along with spring onions and bell peppers. I personally like the original Kung-Pao potatoes and have overindulged many time before. This time I gave it a healthier twist. I switched potatoes with sweet potatoes. Which are packed with nutrients such as beta-carotene, potassium and fibre It’s low in calories, definitely a better choice.
At home, we do indulge in potatoes. It’s a Punjabi family you see, Aloo is a must have, and we all love it. It’s one food, we all can agree with, every time and any time. It’s been almost a year, I have started using sweet potatoes at home regularly. I make baked sweet potato fries, pancakes, I do add them to the cutlet better, salads, and make savoury waffles using sweet potatoes as well. Pranav loves boiled sweet potato slices in his vegetable sandwich. This time I made kung-pao using sweet potato and everyone loved it. A dish that gets finished on the dinner table, is a success.
I preferred baking sweet potatoes instead of deep-frying them, to cut down the calories. Baking sweet potatoes is a very easy task.
Preheat your oven at a high-temperature 220*C.
Chop them into approx 2-inch pieces. Cutting them into small pieces generally means a faster cook time, more crisp outer sides and delicious caramelised edges. You can choose to take off the peel or can keep the peel on for the dish like I did. Which adds to the nutrition value.
But honestly, it will turn out more delicious without the peel.
Spread them out in a single layer on your baking sheet. Give them room and allow the heat to distribute evenly, circulating perfectly around each piece.
Season them. I use garlic minced, olive oil, melted butter, salt and pepper, but you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. Chilli powder, garlic or onion powder.
Garnish your roasted sweet potatoes with fresh chopped parsley, thyme or rosemary. They all taste incredible with baked sweet potatoes.
You can simply eat them as it is, after baking, or turn them into kung-pao sweet potatoes.
If you treat these sweet potatoes right, these will soak up a ton of the flavours from the sauce. Do prep everything in advance and cook in batches as needed. Don’t mix the baked sweet potatoes with sauces in advance. It’s a work that hot wok will do immediately as and when required.
5-6 medium-size sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped, minced garlic (8 cloves garlic)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
For the sauce
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 small green chillies chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic finely chopped
1tablespoon of ginger finely chopped
2- 3 dry red chillies
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha or red chilly sauce (you can increase or decrease the quantity as per desire)
3-4 spring onions roughly cut (keep the greens aside)
1/2 cup of mixed bell peppers chopped
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
3-4 spoonful of peanuts (roasted)
For roasting sweet potatoes in the oven – Preheat the oven to 220°C | 425°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet or tray with cooking oil spray.
Arrange the sweet potatoes on the sheet in one layer, and add the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss until the potatoes are well coated and seasoned. Roast in the oven for 45 -55 minutes, while flipping occasionally, until fork tender.
For the sauce – In a hot wok, pour sesame oil, add the green chilli, garlic, ginger, roasted peanuts and broken dry red chilli. Give it a good stir over high heat.
Next, add the Sriracha or red chilli sauce, and cook for 1 minute. Add onions, bell peppers and spring onions (we add green parts of the spring onion in the end). Stir fry everything. Add sugar, salt, tomato ketchup, light soya sauce and lemon juice. Stir fry everything for 2-3 minutes.
Pour water and bring it to a boil. Add the slurry, little at a time, depending on the consistency you like.
Once the sauce is thick, add the baked sweet potatoes. Give it a good mix and coat all the potatoes with the sauce.
Do not overcook the ingredients; we have to retain the crispiness of the vegetables and sweet potatoes.
If you don’t have spring onion, you may prepare the dish using onion and for garnish use coriander leaves, even though it is not the authentic way of preparing a Chinese dish. But still, it will taste good.
Do all the preparation first and then start cooking as it is done very fast on high heat. Cook and serve as required, serve hot right from the wok and enjoy.