Sweet potato cakes are baked or air fried, oil-free, gluten-free, and delicious. Loaded with vegetables and Asian spices, these little sweet potato cakes will tempt your tastebuds. Served with Asian coleslaw and roasted asparagus, you'll love this combination of flavors.
During the summertime, I like to make recipes with fresh produce. Not only is seasonal produce cheaper, but it is also fresher. So, today, I decided to make sweet potato cakes on a bed of Asian coleslaw with roasted asparagus. Since I flavored my sweet potato cakes with Asian flavors, I also used peanut Thai dressing to drizzle on the top.
My sweet potato cakes, despite being delicious, are both oil-free and gluten-free. And they are effortless to make.
- Sweet potatoes: When cooked, sweet potatoes have a mild, starchy, sweet flavor. But, when baked or air fried, the sweetness becomes caramelized and crunchy.
- Chickpea flour: I like chickpea flour because it is thin and delicate in texture.
- Lemongrass: lemongrass has a citrus and lemon flavor, with a hint of mint.
- Fresh ginger: The flavor of fresh ginger is slightly peppery and sweet, with an intense and spicy aroma. Much like garlic, fresh ginger mellows with cooking
- Red bell pepper: I love the sweetness of red bell peppers and how it enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Red onion: Sweetness is the red onion's greatest strength. The sharpness of its flavor and the intensity of its smell are slightly more potent than that of the white onion, but the sugar content is much higher.
- Chili paste: Asian chile pastes are hot sauces made primarily from ground chiles, oil or vinegar, and salt. They may also include other flavors, such as garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame, black beans, or soybeans.
- Cumin: Rich and hearty, earthy and warm, with an edge of citrus; Cumin adds instant depth to any dish.
- Coriander: Floral and citrusy, coriander is a very fresh-tasting spice. Its mildly sweet, lemony flavor is harnessed in conjunction with other herbs in savory recipes; you'll often see cumin and coriander paired together.
- Salt and pepper: A little salt and pepper bring out the ingredients' flavors.
- Choose yellow or white onion if the red onion isn't available.
- You can use some chili pastes as substitutes for some chili sauces. For example, to replace a sauce with a paste, you need only to find a paste with a similar flavor profile and make it into a sauce by adding moisture. Similarly, chili sauces can be reduced to a thicker consistency to make them better substitutes for chili pastes.
- Lemon zest is the best substitute for lemongrass because lemons are readily available all year round. All you need to do is grate some fresh lemon zest to recreate the tangy citrus flavor. A medium-sized lemon's zest will be equivalent to two small lemongrass stalks.
- If you don't have fresh ginger or ground ginger, substitute 1 teaspoon of ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground mace, or ground nutmeg.
- While none of these spices will lend the same flavor profile as cumin to a dish, coriander and caraway come the closest (whether whole or ground). Chili powder and curry powder contain cumin already.
How to Make the Potato Cakes
First, choose how to cook the sweet potatoes; they can be boiled on the stove or roasted in the oven.
Even though I chose to boil my sweet potatoes, roasting is also an option. First, peel the potatoes and cut them into equal-sized pieces. As a result, the potatoes will cook at the same rate. This way, you avoid some potatoes being overcooked while others are undercooked.
Similar to pasta water, adding a little salt to the water aids in the cooking process. Also, make sure your water is boiling; before covering with a lid, lower the heat, and cook for 20 minutes. Then, allow sweet potatoes to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Peel and cut sweet potatoes in similar sizes
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
- Place potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet
- Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool completely after removing from the oven
While the potatoes cook, prepare the other ingredients.
Sauteing the ingredients before making the sweet potato cake mixture enhances the flavors with the spices.
To begin, saute the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent.
Next, add the red bell pepper and seasonings. Finally, add the lemongrass and ginger; the fragrance was phenomenal!
While the vegetables saute, I used my food processor to puree the sweet potatoes and add the chickpea flour.
If you don't have a food processor, no worries! Just mash the sweet potatoes with a hand masher or a fork.
The most crucial part is ensuring the chickpea flour is evenly distributed. Once combined, add sauteed vegetables and spices.
Forming the Cakes
For this sweet potato cake recipe, I used my burger press and chose the small slider size. However, feel free to use the larger burger size instead if you prefer. For example, this recipe makes 12 small sweet potato cakes or 6 large ones.
Another suggestion is to place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before forming the potato cakes. Or, make the sweet potato mixture and leave it overnight before making the potato cakes the next day.
Another option, if you do not have a burger press, is to use your hands and form balls and then press onto a baking sheet, forming similar-sized burgers.
Once the patties are formed, place each sweet potato cake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Or, air fry the potato cakes in an air fryer in half the time!
I served roasted asparagus and Asian coleslaw with my sweet potato cakes. So, while they are baking, cook the asparagus at the same time in the oven with the sweet potato cakes. And begin to prepare the coleslaw.
You can soak your sweet potatoes in cold water for one hour overnight. Do not soak your sweet potatoes any longer than overnight, as they will begin to lose their flavor quality and overall structure. Some water salable nutrients will leach into the water, causing your potato to be a bit less nutrient-dense
You can use lemongrass whole, sliced, or pounded to a paste. To use whole, cut off the very bottom of the stalk, peel off any dried-out layers, then bash the woody top end with a rolling pin to soften, and help release some of the aromatic oils.
To use lemongrass in marinades, stir-fries, salads, spice rubs, and curry pastes, trim the top and base of the stalks—you want to use only the bottom 4 inches or so.
- Fresh lemon grass is always best, but lemon grass paste is also available near the herbs in the produce section.
- Roughly mash the sweet potatoes with a food processor, hand potato masher, or a fork.
- If peeling potatoes in advance, place them in a bowl of cold water and refrigerate no longer than overnight.
- Choose a small or larger burger press, or use hands to form patties.
You will love this crispy sweet potato cakes. Bake or air-fried, they are lovely as an entree or on top of a salad, noodles, or rice.
Other Tasty Asian Recipes
If you love these tasty sweet potato cakes, give us a 5-star review and a comment below! We would love to hear from you!
Sweet Potato Cakes
- 3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into equal-sized pieces (or approx. 5 cups sweet potatoes)
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 white onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon lemongrass stalks removed, and center chopped finely
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons red chili paste
- Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into equal-sized pieces
- Add sweet potatoes to a large pot and cover with water; add 1 teaspoon salt
- Bring water with sweet potatoes to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low
- Cook for 20 minutes
- In the meantime, saute garlic and onions until onions are translucent.
- Now, add red pepper, lemongrass, chili paste, and spices
- Stir and cook until red peppers are cooked down
- Add vegetable broth to avoid sticking
- Drain sweet potatoes and allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly
- Place cooked sweet potatoes in a food processor using the large blade
- Pulse until sweet potatoes are pureed
- Then, add ½ cup chickpea flour and blend again until the flour and sweet potatoes are combined.
- Using a large bowl, add sweet potato/four mixture and add onion and red bell pepper mixture.
- Stir to combine.
- Cover mixture and place in a refrigerator for at least an hour or longer.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a burger press or your hands, form sweet potato cakes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
Air Frying Option
- Preheat the air frier to 350 degrees
- Using a burger press or your hands, form sweet potato cakes and place them in the base of the air fryer, or on an air frying pan.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- If batch cooking, preheat an oven to 325 degrees and prepare a baking sheet to keep the cooked sweet potatoes warm while cooking the remaining batches.
- Serve with Asian coleslaw, salad, rice, or vegetable of choice.
- This recipe works best if you peel the potatoes.
- Regardless if you roast or boil the potatoes, wait until they are cool before adding them to the food processor.
- If you don't have a food processor, mash the potatoes with a masher or a fork.
- You can make the sweet potato mixture a day or two ahead if meal prepping.
- The potato cakes can be frozen before they are cooked or after.
- I served sweet potato cakes with Asian coleslaw and roasted asparagus and drizzled everything with Thai peanut dressing.
- For a nut-free option, try carrot ginger dressing. Another great option is citrus dressing.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂