While at the grocery store getting ingredients for my Caribbean food dinner, I found these Okinawa sweet potatoes for sale at my local central market. Okinawa sweet potatoes, also known as purple sweet potatoes, are supposedly an Asian variety of sweet potato (Supposedly because I’ve also heard they are not Asian at all). They are different from Ube, which is a Philippino, or southeast Asian yam of very brightly colored purple. I’ve had Ube and Ube icecream while in the Philippines and they are fairly hard to find in Texas. Yams and sweet potatoes aren’t the same thing!

Anyway, I saw these cute little sweet potatoes and wanted to make this boiled cassava like dish I had in Dominica, but decided against it because I was already making rice and beans. I looked online for recipes with Okinawa sweet potatoes, and there weren’t many, however, an ingenious blogger said that they made oven fried sweet potato chips with Okinawas using a Emril Lagasse recipe from Foodnetwork.com. When I first started cooking back in college I used foodnetwork.com almost exclusively, becuase I didn’t know any better, and honestly it was a good start for beginner cooks. There are great recipes from foodnetwork.com, but there are also many bad ones, and the hit or miss inconsistency of their recipes made me look else where. I have to say that I do really vouch for this recipe, if you have the right tools.

The Okinawa sweet potatoes are actually fairly light skinned on the outside, and vibrantly purple with some splashes of cream in the center. I sliced these by hand using a “Shun” knife my boyfriend bought for me two Christmas’ ago. I would suggest buying and using a mandolin if you don’t have the proper knife skills to slice these thinly. If the slices are too thick, the baking time will increase, and if you slice some slices thick and some slices thin, you will have to constantly check to make sure that the thin slices don’t burn, and the thick slices keep cooking.

The slices are brushed with olive oil and baked in a 400F oven for 10 minutes or thereabouts, depending on the thickness of your slices.

Meanwhile, I worked on the spice mixture you toss the baked chips in, which consists of a little bit of sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, nutmeg, and ground ginger.

These chips are very flavourful, and especially pretty in their purple color. I’ve since made them twice, and it’s a great little appetizer or a light side item. I served them with my Jamaican Jerk chicken and red beans and rice.

Oven Fried Sweet Potato Chips: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/oven-fried-potato-and-sweet-potato-chips-with-creamy-oven-cooked-bacon-dip-recipe/index.html