Ming-Cheau Lin's Sweet Potato Puffs
PICTURE: Supplied
Ming-Cheau Lin's Sweet Potato Puffs PICTURE: Supplied

RECIPE: Ming-Cheau Lin's sweet potato puffs

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Jun 8, 2020

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One of the simplest ways to do your bit for the Earth this Environment Month is to choose a few more meat-free dishes for your meals, since these often have a much smaller carbon footprint. 

A simple, delicious addition to your vegetarian menu are these Sweet Potato Puffs – a simple dish, which can be served as a snack or side.

This recipe comes from well-known food blogger and the author of cookbook Just Add Rice – stories and recipes by a Taiwanese South African (2018), Ming-Cheau Lin (the first locally published East Asian cookbook.) 

“Frying these do take some time, as it is a slow fry. And, once they start puffing, the trick is to flatten them against the side of the pot. Enjoy them warm – I say warm and not hot because I always burn my tongue on the tester. Taste as you go along. Everyone likes their food seasoned differently and there's nothing wrong with that. Taste while you cook and you will discover your preference,” says Lin.

A first generation Taiwanese immigrant, raised in Bloemfontein, Lin says that sustainable and conscious eating habits have always been important to her.

Sweet Potato Puffs (Makes 60)


750g sweet potato
½ cup brown sugar
3⁄4 cup tapioca flour, plus extra to ‘adjust’ the dough
cooking oil, for deep-frying

Steam the sweet potato, then mash it and leave to cool.
Mix the sugar into the sweet potato mash.
Add the flour and mix. If the dough is on the moist side, add more flour.
Shape handfuls of dough into grape-sized balls.
Place them in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Pour oil into a pot to a third full and heat on medium to low.
Pop one ball in as a tester. If a slow, continuous bubbling occurs, you can start placing more balls in, but space them out or they will stick together.
Once golden, the puffs will start rising to the top and increasing in size.
Flatten the puffs against the side of the pot with a slotted spoon, then allow them to puff again and flatten them again. Continue doing this until they become large and golden-brown.
Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Continue in batches until all the batter has been used.

Just Add Rice – stories and recipes by a Taiwanese South African by  Ming-Cheau Lin is available to purchase on Loot. Click here to place an order. 

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