I really loved these sweet potato cakes. For me, it was all about the texture. Crispy exterior, fluffy interior, and a creamy dollop of tangy yogurt sauce. All those textures in one bite really make your mouth happy.
Of course, the flavor is pretty spot on too. The sweet potato is definitely the star in this recipe, as it should be. The flavorings are rather subtle and I like it that way. Little hints of soy sauce, chile, and green onion help to accentuate the flavor of the sweet potato, not mask it.
The tangy yogurt dipping sauce is crucial to this recipe. In fact, I would go so far as to say it actually makes the recipe. The sauce is creamy yet light and refreshing. It has a little pop of freshness from the lemon and a little tang from the yogurt and sour cream and it really cuts through the richness of the buttery sweet potato cake. A perfect combination!
Sweet Potato Cakes
Adapted from Plenty
by Yotam Ottolenghi
2-1/4 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 teaspoons soy sauce, or a dash more to taste
scant 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh red chile, or more if you wish
plenty of butter for frying
For the Dipping Sauce:
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
salt and black pepper
Steam the sweet potatoes until completely soft, then leave in a colander to drain for at least an hour.*Note: I'm not sure it's essential to drain the sweet potatoes. I checked on mine after they were draining for 30 minutes and I noticed no liquid. Depending on the moisture in your potatoes you may be able to skip this step, or at the very least, reduce the one hour of draining in half.
To make the sauce: Whisk together all the sauce ingredients until smooth; set aside to allow flavors to develop.
Once the sweet potatoes have lost most of their liquid, place them in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (except the butter). Mix everything together, preferably by hand, until the mix is smooth and even; do not over-mix. The mixture should be sticky; if it's runny add some more flour.
Melt some butter in a non-stick frying pan. Each cake should be roughly 2 inches in diameter and 3/8 inch thick. Fry the cakes on medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side, or until you get a nice brown crust. Place in between two sheets of paper towels to soak up the excess butter. Serve hot or warm, with the sauce on the side.