Monday, November 12, 2012

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce

I love this week’s Food Matter’s Project, Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce, chosen by Aura of Dinner with Aura! Check out Aura’s website for the original Mark Bittman recipe. Also visit the FMP website to see what creative spins the other members came up with.  

Since yesterday was Veterans Day, today is a holiday… which means no work for me! However, even more than Veterans Day being a holiday, let us not forget the real purpose for this day. Thank you to all the veterans who served and are serving the country. We honor all of you!

DFJ is still away and while he was gone I have finished reading a book, worked out for three hours on Saturday, wrote a blog post, had a nice dinner at my friends’ house, caught up on emailing friends, did yoga for two hours straight yesterday, watched two movies in a row while folding three loads of clean laundry, and baked this tart (see picture below).

Even though I kept myself busy, I still whined and complained about being lonely and was not at all a pleasant girlfriend to talk to every time DFJ called. What in the world is wrong with me? Have I not learned to be a strong, independent woman over the past 29 years of my life? Ladies, if you have these weird tendencies that I have when your man is away, please try your best to keep it to yourself. It’s a big turn-off. Geez, I better get my act together or DFJ will decide never to come back home.

Enough about the whining though! Let’s talk about good stuff… like these fritters! I veered a little from the original recipe to use up the ingredients that I already have at home. Instead of corn and scallions, I used zucchini and onions.

These sweet potato and zucchini fritters are delicious and oh-so-pretty! Earthy, juicy, sweet, and savory. Not to mention crispy, crunchy, and oily… but way better for you than French fries! The fritters are just simply seasoned with salt and pepper and although they are good eaten alone, they certainly liven up when you pour a good amount of the sauce over them. The lime juice-fish sauce-soy sauce-garlic-ginger combination tampers the oiliness and adds so much flavor to the fritters! You must not forgo making the sauce, ok?

The fritters took some preparation and that included grating the sweet potatoes and the zucchini, which was a really good arm workout. The frying also took some time, so patience is necessary here. It is kind of tricky for these fritters to hold together well, so make sure you drain the liquid out of the grated sweet potatoes and zucchini. You can either press them against a strainer or do what I did. I simply covered the sweet potatoes and zucchini with a heavy duty paper towel and pressed it until the liquid soaked the towel. I only did it once, but maybe do it twice to make sure most of the liquid is gone.

After the initial grating and dicing, the rest of the process is pretty easy. Mix everything in a large bowl, heat up some oil, and fry away!


Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce, The Food Matters Cookbook, Mark Bittman

2 cups grated sweet potatoes, packed and drained of liquid (see note above)
1 cup grated zucchini, packed and drained of liquid (see note above)
1 bell pepper, diced (1 heaping cup)
1 cup onion, diced
3-4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
salt and pepper
canola oil for frying
Dipping Sauce
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
pinch of chile flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 pinches of brown sugar (more or less to taste)

Place the sweet potato, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and pinches of salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. (I added 6 pinches of salt and 2 generous grinds of the pepper.) Mix everything well with a fork.

Add the flour a tablespoon at a time and mix well. Pour in the beaten egg and mix some more until everything is well incorporated.

Cover the bottom of a large pan with oil, about 1/8 of an inch. Turn the heat on to medium high. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan. Before dropping a spoonful, make sure to pack it tight with your fingers to make the fritter hold together better. Make sure to space them out so they do not get too crowded. This will make it easier for you to flip them when they’re ready. Slightly flatten the fritters very gently with your spatula. Cook each side until it turns brown, about 4-5 minutes, turning only once.

Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:  
Pour in the lime juice, fish sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir well. Throw in a pinch of chile flakes, then add the minced garlic and ginger. Add the brown sugar a pinch at a time until your desired taste is reached.    

Cooking ain’t perfect! So, do not be discouraged if some of the fritters fall apart. Just carefully scoop them off the large pan and move to a smaller one.  Continue cooking them in another burner. They are just as good and instead of the crunch that the whole fritters give, the fallen-apart ones are chewier. I served them on top of rice, poured on some sauce, and voila… a simple and delicious meal!

Have a great week everyone!


  1. These look delicious...even your rescued fritters over rice! Yummy.

  2. Love the zucchini addition Margarita!

  3. Aw, I think I may have these tendencies too. I'm a little worried: in january my boyfriend is going to Russia for 5 months to study at this really prestigious university. I'm trying to be supportive, but I think I may end up being very whiny when he calls.
    But these look fantastic! Nothing like a long food preparation to take your mind off things (and honestly, I have no idea how you had time to make all of this when you did that huge list of things too!)

  4. Margarita, I am glad you liked the recipe this week! Thanks for cooking along. I wanted to stick to the original because I was hosting but next time I am going to stick to the ingredients but bake them instead. Great substitution with the zucchini and onion. And you must get yourself a food processor--it cuts the time into nothing!

  5. These fritters make my mouth drool Margarita! They look so tasty!

  6. I pulled my food processor out from the depths of my cupboard to shred the sweet potato in this one... it was marvelous how quick and easy it was! And nice call on the zucchini ;)

  7. I whine to my boyfriend every time he goes back to his apartment about how lonely I am...even though I'm sure if he were here constantly I'd be irritated lol. The grass is always greener?

    These look amazing! I wish I had had time to make them!


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