Learn the secret to make the best homemade Fried Yam fries right at home with yellow yams. These fries serve well as a side dish or a starter.
Fried Yam is a popular food in the Western part of Africa, especially in Nigeria. It goes by a lot of names in the local parlance such as Isu Dindin or Dundun, and “yam” in Haiti.
It is a very delicious meal that works perfectly as a full meal or as an appetizer.
There are many ways to make fried yam (air fryer, oven, or deep fried). We’ll touch base on fried yam, its history, methods of preparation as well as the ingredients required to make the dish.
We will also touch on the alternatives to the ingredients used, the preferred storage method for the meal, and also foods that go well with fried yam.
History Of Fried Yam
Like many foods that originated from the African continent, we know very little about the history of this food.
There are little or no documented records as to the origin of fried yam. However, there is a lot of history associated with yam, the primary ingredient needed for this dish.
The origin of yam has been one of the hottest topics among experts as they are differing views regarding the origination and domestication of yam as a plant.
Some records point to the fact that yams originated in West Africa around 5000BC. These records also claim that the domestication of the plant happened around this time.
The proliferation of yam to other parts of the world as a result of the slave trade and inter-region trading activities that happened later.
Another set of experts, led by De Candolle in 1886 established that yams originated in the Indo-Malayan region.
However, they could not establish the domestication process and how it occurred in the region.
However, regardless of these conflicting reports, what we can establish is that yams originated and are popular in Africa, the Caribbean, and some parts of Asia.
Methods For Making the Fried Yam Fries
There are many ways through which you can make the fried yam. The name of the dish gives it away, so the first, most popular, and traditional method of making the fried yam is by frying the yam.
The second method is baking the yam in the oven. This is a modern method and equally healthier method. Lastly, you can make the fried yam by parboiling yam then air frying.
If air frying or deep frying, you’ll need the following ingredients
- Yellow Yam: About ½ Lb. yellow yam, peeled, then cut into baton.
- Olive oil to help with coating.
- Salt and black pepper, and chili powder for seasoning.
How To Deep Fry Yam
Before frying the yam, peel and cut the yam into sticks.
While cutting the yam into sticks or batons, soak the yam to keep them from turning yellow and to keep them looking fresh. Heat the oil in a saucepan or deep fryer.
After soaking, proceed to fry the yam pieces, but first drizzle with olive oil then season with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
The yams are cooked when they are golden brown and fork through.
Boil Then Air Fry
Boiling the fries first then air frying cuts down the time when it comes to deep frying.
This method is also fast, but it is not as fast as the frying method. Of course, you’ll need to peel, wash and cut the yam into sticks.
Next, place the yam pieces into the saucepan, add enough water to cover the yam pieces and season with salt to taste.
Then cook the yam for about 7 to 10 minutes. After the time elapses, drain out the water from the yam, season with the salt, pepper, and chili powder.
Deep fry the yam pieces for another 5 to 7 minutes until it shows a golden yellow color.
This method takes about 20 minutes or thereabout.
While the parboiling part takes some time, it also helps to ensure that the yam is soft inside and you need not worry about undercooked yam when you are frying.
How To Bake The Fries
This takes longer than the two methods discussed earlier but it is healthier. Studies show that when you bake food, they have fewer calories than when you fry the same food items.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cover the baking tray with foil or parchment paper then oil it a bit before setting it aside.
Peel then cut the yam into sticks. Place the pieces in a saucepan, add enough water to cover the yam pieces, and add salt to taste. Cook the yam for about 7 to 10 minutes.
By this time, the yam should be partly cooked. Drain the water out and add the pieces onto the tray already greased with oil.
Bake the yam pieces for about 15 minutes. This should be enough time for the yam pieces to turn golden.
This method takes about 25-30 minutes, but every minute is worth it especially if you are particular about the number of calories that you take and you don’t want to miss out on the delicious crispy taste of fried yam.
Substitutions and Alternatives
This dish wouldn’t be complete without mentioning dundun oniyeri. This is another delicacy that you can make with fried yam.
This dish involves cutting the yam pieces into an egg wash before frying.
This gives the yam pieces a fluffy texture and makes them look like potato wedges, especially when you dip the yam pieces into a sauce.
This alternative goes well with a light salad or protein-filled meal, as it adds the starchiness and sweetness needed to make the dish somewhat flexible.
What Does Yam Fries Go With?
You can enjoy this dish with fried plantain and/or pepper sauce. It also goes as a side dish with any protein.
More Fries To Enjoy
If you loved these fried yam fries, we recommend you try one of these fries next:
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How To Make Yam Fries With Yellow Yams
- Deep fryer
- ½ Lb. Yellow Yam Peeled then cut into sticks
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- ½ Tsp. Kosher Salt Or to taste
- ½ Tsp. Black Pepper Or to taste
- 1 Tsp. Chili Powder
- 4 Cups Frying Oil We used canola oil
- Peel the yam then cut into sticks. Place the yam sticks in a bowl filled with cold water to keep them fresh. Drain the water then rinse the yam sticks. Then transfer to a bowl. Heat the oil to 350°F in a deep fryer. See notes below.
- Season the yam sticks with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Add a small batch to the frying oil and fry until golden brown. See notes below. Yam fries are ready when they are fork through.