Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The night air was cold as I rode home on my scooter.

The smell of hot oil and frying dough wafted through the air, promising sweet nothings that would momentarily sate my cravings but then leave me wanting more...

It was already late and I wanted to avoid the quick fix of soufganiot. Something fairly fast and easy for dinner, but satisfying as well...

'Tis the season, after all, so I indulged myself wantonly and made latkes - again. After all, they fit the bill but are a bit more virtuous than donuts... This time, however, not only did I manage to assuage my sweet tooth, but I also created something exotic and comforting at the same time.

Batata Latkes with Miso
(12 small latkes

  • 1 large orange sweet potato (batata) coarsely grated
    (approximately 3 cups lightly packed)
  • 3/4 cup finely sliced green onions
  • 2 generous tbsp miso shiro paste
  • 1 large egg
  • black pepper to taste
  • hot chili flakes to taste (optional - but I like my food spicy!)
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • furikake (Japanese sprinkles), sour cream and green onions for garnish

Heat oven to 160c, have ready an oven tray lined with papertowels.

Mix the miso and egg until smooth.

Add the green onions and grated sweet potato and mix well.

In a large frying pan on medium heat until warm, pour in enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. When a drop of water sizzles happily (not angrily) put in 3 or 4 heaping tablespoons of the batata mixture and push, pat and prod them into fairly flat, vaguely pancakey shapes.

Cook on medium - medium low heat until browned and crispy (about 7 minutes), then turn and cook on the other side, adding a bit more oil to the pan if needed.

Put finished latkes on the towel lined oven tray and put in oven to keep warm.

To serve, dollop some sour cream in the center, sprinkle the furikake between the pancakes and on top of the cream, and finish with the green onions.

Don't forget that the batata has a much higher sugar content than regular potatoes and will burn if you don't keep an eye on the latkes. Also, there is no added salt because the miso is quite salty enough.

Don't forget, there are only 3 more nights of Channuka left... to enjoy latkes with no guilt!

And if you haven't yet gone to the donation page for Menu for Hope III, this is just a reminder that there are only 2 more days left before the raffle closes.


burekaboy — said...

lol, i read won'ton-ly as in the chinese version. you must've smelled the oil from my house, too. i'm sure it reached the holyland. uggh, the whole 'hood reaks of canola & olive oil. randomly weird, too, i made asian ones!! great minds think alike, huh? mine did not use sweet potato (nemesis). anywho.... the holiday is soon over and it will soon be just memories of sufganiyot and baatata bil miso.

go to bed, already. lol. layla.

aja said...

Hey BB,
What did you do to yours? I have to admit to being rather proud of these - they were genuinely all-round satisfying with a generous dollop of umami.

burekaboy — said...

mine were great too but i didn't post (yet). ginger, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, dark soy sauce (a bit), sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, sriracha and a touch of rice wine vinegar. they were very good. yay for umami.

aja said...

Hey BB,
Oooh yours sound really tasty. Might steal the idea and do it with batata (I'm out of regular)
Happy day! 8^)