Hello dear readers!
Hope the week has been going well for all of you! Close to Friday already…meaning the weekend is just around the corner!
Last weekend I was in Bankstown and spotted some lovely looking purple sweet potato and I knew immediately that I would have to buy some. I used to love eating sweet potato cut into pieces and steamed for my lunch that I thought I would now try and create various food creations using purple sweet potato as the main ingredient (and mostly because I have probably been watching too much US Masterchef and have been really addicted to the challenges of the mystery box and creating all these dishes using items provided to you.)
So thus began my adventures of creating multiple dishes utilising the sweet potato flavour. I began by cutting the skin off the sweet potato yielding only the lovely purple skin and flesh of the sweet potato and then cutting them into chunky pieces to be steamed in my steamer for around 40-45 minutes. After the sweet potato has been steamed, I used a fork and mashed up the sweet potato until it is relatively smooth (don’t worry if it’s still chunky with some pieces in it).
The question though was what was I going to create with my sweet potato now that it had been steamed and mashed up.
I decided to go with 3 dishes:
1. Sweet Potato Chips (oven baked for 45 minutes with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil)
2. Klepon (Indonesian dessert using glutinous rice flour and palm sugar then coated in freshly grated coconut) – I changed this around and just used the glutinous rice flour, the sweet potato and a filling of coconut sugar (I also made ones without any sugar inside of it so you could really taste the sweet potato itself)
3. Purple Sweet Potato Mantou (A Chinese style bun utilising yeast and flour) – I used white spelt flour combined with the purple sweet potato
Sweet Potato Chips
- Purple Sweet Potato peeled and sliced very thinly (you can use as much sweet potato as you want depending on how many batches you are going to make)
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Peel your sweet potato until all the outer skin has been peeled off.
- Slice your sweet potato into very thin rounds so that they can crisp up in the oven
- Lay each slice on a baking tray lined with baking paper ensuring to leave a space in between each chip
- Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil
- Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes ensuring that you continually turn the chips over so that it is evenly baked on both sides.
- Once you have taken the chips out of the oven, cool them on a wire rack and then store in an air tight container.
- Makes a good snack that you can take to work or garnish on your salad.
My sweet potato chips needed to be baked longer as I divided my batch into a second tray on the bottom of the oven which meant that my sweet potato chips were not cooked evenly and the bottom tray was not as crispy as the top. Next time I may bake it for longer but on a lower temperature and keep switching the trays from top to bottom so that they cook evenly between each tray. I like the fact that it is a simple snack that you can make to bring to work or to have at home when you are feeling peckish and want something healthy and light.
Sweet Potato Klepon & Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls
- Purple Sweet Potato steamed and mashed (around 400g)
- 1 cup of glutinous rice flour (may need to add more to get the right consistency
- 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup of water
- Coconut Sugar for the filling (if making Klepon – can be substituted with Palm Sugar which is the original ingredient for the filling)
- Grated Coconut (optional)
- Combine your steamed mashed sweet potato with the glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and water until it forms a dough that does not stick to your hand. If it is too sticky, add more glutinous rice flour but if it is too dry, add more water until you get the right consistency.
- If you are making Klepon, you will need to grab a bit of the dough and flatten it into a circular disc and then add in the sugar in the middle then seal it and roll it into a ball with the palm of your hands. Repeat until the dough is finished.
- If you are making just normal glutinous rice balls with your sweet potato mixture, grab a pinch of the dough and roll them into small balls. You can make your glutinous rice balls whatever size you like. I usually make an array of different sizes.
- Boil some water in a pot. Wait until it is boiling then drop in your glutinous rice balls into the boiling water. Once they float to the top, they are ready to be scooped out and put into a soup (such as a ginger soup – see my previous post on glutinous rice balls with sweetened ginger soup) or eaten as is if you are making klepon.
- For the Klepon, once the glutinous rice balls have floated to the top, you retrieve them out of the water and immediately roll them in freshly grated coconut. As I didn’t have any on hand, I skipped this step and just ate it as is.
I really enjoyed my version of Klepon and my sweet potato glutinous rice balls. They were a lot more dense due to the sweet potato but it tasted very healthy and nutritious. I loved the purple hue once you bit into the glutinous rice ball. The coconut sugar in the Klepon gave it a nice liquidy brown filling once you bit into it and contrasted the bright purple colour of the sweet potato glutinous rice ball. Also, I didn’t miss the freshly grated coconut on the klepon and even prefer it without the coconut.
Jackpot NOTE: You can freeze the glutinous rice balls and put them into the freezer to eat later on as all you will need to do is boil them again in water.
Purple Sweet Potato Mantou
- Purple sweet potato steamed and mashed (about 1 cup)
- 1 Cup of white spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp of yeast
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 2-3 tablespoons of sugar
- 40ml of water
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- Whisk the yeast and water together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar until incorporated together
- Mix in the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix together until it becomes a dough. Knead the dough with your hands or with a mixer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add in the coconut oil into the dough and keep kneading until the dough does not stick to your hands.
- Place your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it rest for about 20-3o minutes.
- The dough should have risen a bit whilst rested.
- Take out the dough from your bowl and punch it to get the air out and knead it further for a few minutes.
- Roll out your dough with a rolling-pin on a wooden board lightly dusted with flour into a rectangle shape.
- Roll up the dough so that it forms a long cylinder.
- Cut the cylinders into equal portions to make little rectangles of mantous
- Place the mantous in a lined steamed lined with baking paper and let it rest for another 5-10 minutes before steaming.
- Steam the mantous for 10 minutes.
- Enjoy whilst it is steaming hot still.
- You can store these in the fridge or freezer if you want to eat them later. You just need to reheat them in your steamer or in the microwave with a cup of water.
I was really happy with the way my mantous came out. The inside was not dry at all like some steamed mantous can be and it was quite moist due to the use of the steamed sweet potato. I used a bit more sweet potato and hence my dough did not rise as much and so I ended up with really small mantous. Next time I will try this recipe again and try to use more flour if I use more sweet potato so that it is more balanced. I will also try it without as much sweet potato to see the difference. Whilst my mantou do not look as visually appealing as other mantous, the flavours were all there and the texture was spot on so I will need to work on the presentation of my mantous for next time.
I think I’m definitely sweet potato’ed out! Time to move onto my next mystery ingredient…I wonder what that might be…
“Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.”