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Sweet Potato Balls

By: Ilona Salim

Sweet Potato Balls are one of the most popular street snacks in Asia. This vegan AND gluten-free snack transcends through Asian culture and is interpreted slightly differently depending on where you eat it. This must-have night market stall snack is made with a few simple ingredients: flour, sweet potato, baking powder, sugar, salt, and frying oil. The blend of tapioca flour, cornstarch, and starch from the sweet potato itself gives it the perfect chewy, yet crispy texture. Once you have a bite, there’s no guarantee of stopping! The recipe I'm sharing below is an Indonesian/Taiwanese interpretation of the famous snack. Enjoy the sweet yet savory elements of these hollow sweet potato balls!

The Recipe - Sweet Potato Balls


  • 300 - 350 grams mashed sweet potato

  • 80 grams tapioca flour

  • 30 grams corn starch

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 70 grams powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Frying Oil


  1. Steam 2 large-sized sweet potato (approx. 300 grams)

  2. Once cooked, peel and mash the sweet potato.

  3. In a medium-sized bowl, add in the tapioca flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.

  4. Give it a little stir before adding the mashed sweet potato. Mix until it forms a dough.

  5. Leave to chill for 30 minutes.

  6. Shape into uniform 1 Inch diameter spheres.

  7. Heat your frying oil over low heat. approx. to 300F. Do not heat it too high of a temperature since the sweet potato balls may burn. You want them to brown slowly.

  8. Once your sweet potato balls have formed a somewhat crispy skin, start gently pressing the ball with your tongs/spatula. You want to slightly deform them to allow air to enter. This action helps form the balls hollow character.

  9. Continue doing so until your sweet potato balls have grown up to 1.5x it’s original size.

  10. Ideally, once done frying, your sweet potato balls should be hollow!

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