What Are Fried Yams?

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  • Written By: Dee Jones
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2019
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There are many versions of fried yams but, basically, the dish consists of yams that have either been deep fried, usually in vegetable oil, or oven fried. While yams are not related to potatoes or sweet potatoes, yams can be prepared in ways similar to those vegetables, including frying. Two popular recipes for fried yams are French fried yams, an alternative to traditional French fried potatoes, and yam chips, which are similar to potato chips. The simplest fried yams dishes can be prepared quickly and easily with just yams and cooking oil.

Many people believe yam is just another word for sweet potato, but yams and sweet potatoes are not the same. While there are similarities, the two vegetables aren’t even distantly related. Sweet potatoes are yellow or orange tubers that have been popular in the United States (US), especially the southern US, for generations.

Yams are tubers found on a tropical vine, and have long been popular with cooks in Latin America and the Caribbean. There are two common types of sweet potatoes, one much sweeter than the other. Yams, however, are sweeter than both of these sweet potato varieties, as well as containing much more moisture.


Like fried potatoes, fried yams can be oven fried or deep fried, and a simple recipe for French fried yams only requires vegetable oil and some simple preparation. First peel and thoroughly clean a yam, and pat it dry with a paper towel. Next, cut the yam into thin slices, stack the slices together, and then cross cut these slices into thin inch strips. Add the yam fries to a deep fryer filled with vegetable oil that has been pre-heated to 360°F (about 182°C) for about five minutes. After cooking, place the yam fries on a paper towel to drain away the excess oil.

Fried yams aren’t the only dish that can be made with yams, because lik most vegetables, there are many ways to cook them. While yams are not related to potatoes, they can be prepared in many of the same ways as potatoes, including boiling, frying, mashing, or grilling. To make traditional dishes more interesting, many cooks have started adding yams to recipes that would usually call for potatoes. Yams can also be found in recipes for pancakes, stir fries, soups, and cookies.


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