Crunchy with a soft inside. That is what you get when you make a tempura batter for sweet potato. It immediately solves the issue of not having crunchy sweet potato fries! Check how to make these delicious sweet potato tempura fries.

sweet potato tempura fries

Vegetable tempura of sweet potato and cauliflower

These sweet vegetables bites are an absolute hit with everyone. I can guarantee you. They are crunchy, delicious and almost good for you. I say almost as I’m pretty sure the frying and the batter are not the healthiest but boy is this good! Making the tempura of sweet potato is really straight forward. I have to say there are many different tempura recipes out there and not sure if this one is the most traditional (probably not)

What do you need for making the perfect sweet potato tempura bites

  • Ice cold sparkling water
  • paper towel to drain the fried veggies of any excess oil
  • a few inches of oil (vegetable oil)
  • all purpose flour
  • A large bowl to mix everything in
  • If necessary a rack to let any excess batter drip from the vegetables before dipping in the oil
sweet potato tempura fries

Perfect snack

We came up with the tempura of sweet potato when we made tempura batter for something else. We had left overs and we also had some sweet potato and cauliflower lying around so the choice to make these was pretty straight forward.

The good thing about these sweet potato tempura bites is that you do not need to cook the sweet potato beforehand. You can just leave them raw. The frying is enough to cook them through. Provided you slice them within normal proportions (not too thick!) You can slice them in thick rounds or you can slice them in fries format, which we did here.

I love eating these tempura sweet potato bites with a spicy mayonaise but soy sauce of an another sauce of your liking will do.

Crunchy sweet potato fries

And if you’re like me you have been disappointed time and time again when trying to make crunchy sweet potato fries. It’s almost an impossibility as they get soft before they go crunchy. However, by using the tempura batter this issue is solved instantly. You have all the goods from sweet potato plus the crunchy outside!

cauliflower tempura bites

Can I use still water instead of sparkling water to make the batter?

You can use still water for making the tempura batter, but it won’t give the same results. Most important is to use cold water and if you have any choice go for sparkling water. If your water is not cold enough drop in some ice cubes and wait until the water is ice cold.

Can I make this with other vegetables?

In essence this is a vegetable tempura so you can use sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, celeriac or most other kind of vegetable that would cook quickly in a short amount of time. Make sure to cut the vegetables in the right size so you can be sure they all cook at the same time.

Why is my tempura not crispy?

If your tempura doesn’t crisp up you might have used the wrong kind of flour. In general you do not want the gluten to start forming here so you use a weak kind of flour like plain flour or cake flour. You can also add some cornstarch to the batter like I did here. Also make sure to keep your ingredients ice cold. All this is helping to create a perfectly crispy end result. Make the batter shortly before using. So don’t let it sit on the kitchen counter for too long. Make sure to use hot oil too. If your oil is not hot enough it will soak up the oil, which is definitely not what you want.

Make sure to not overmix your batter either to prevent gluten development. It’s better to have some lumps than to overmix.

Also remove the tempura once golden brown from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a paper towel which is optionally placed on a cooling rack.

What kind of dipping sauce should I use?

Obviously you can use any kind of dipping sauce you like. My favorite is a very simple dip of mayonaise mixed with sriracha, so I have a spicy and super simple dip to serve.

How long do the sweet potato slices need to cook?

Once you place them in the hot oil it will take around 4-5 minutes to crisp up and become golden brown. You can make them by deep frying or shallow fry will also work. It depends on the size of your vegetables. The sweet potato fries are easily done with shallow fry but larger pieces need to be in a deeper pan. You can use a heavy saucepan for this if you want.

Can I make the sweet tempura in an air fryer?

I am assuming you can make this in an air fryer as well. Having said that; I haven’t actually tried that myself but it is on my agenda to try next. I wonder if they would still be too soft in the air fryer, but like I said I will try that next and update this post if I do.

Or try these perfect french fries, halloumi fries or broccoli fries from the air fryer ! Or these delicious tempura fried prawns.

sweet potato tempura fries

Sweet potato tempura

4.67 from 3 votes

These delicious bites are super simple to make! And the good news is that you can make the tempura bites with just about any vegetable you like
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes

4 people


  • 1 cup all purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup sparkling water ice cold
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 large sweet potato cut into strips
  • 1/2 head cauliflower broken into small florets
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Place the oil in a frying pan or a wok and heat it to about 180˚C.
  • Cut your sweet potatoes into small strips and cut your cauliflower into small florets
  • Make the batter by combining the flour, corn starch, water, egg and salt and pepper
  • It's easiest to have some extra all purpose flour on a plate so you can roll the sweet potato through the flour first. Then add to the batter. Let any excess batter drip off
  • Add the potatoes covered with batter into the hot oil and wait for them to crisp up and become golden brown.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 16091IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist