These candied yams are coated with sweet hard candy on the outside for a crunchy bite into soft fluffy yams. An extra special treat!

Candied Yams ~ crispy crunchy candy yams! | www.savoringspoon.comI try to stay away from deep frying. But occasionally  the desire for crunchy food overtakes and deep-frying goodness happens. This dish is the perfect dessert or side-dish to complete your dim sum experience.

I used to eat these yams on Lunar New Year, when all the deep frying that was about to happen for the entire year would take place in my grandparents’ home. This was by far my favorite holiday when I lived in China because it meant 1) lots of yummy food 2) deep frying, which basically never happened around my house otherwise (sad face).

Candied Yams ~ crispy crunchy candy yams! | www.savoringspoon.comI start by skinning some Asian yams. These are located at your local Asian grocery and are white on the inside with red skin. Just two  plump yams is plenty for this dish.

Candied Yams ~ crispy crunchy candy yams! | To fry yams, boil them in hot oil until the outsides are nice and hard. When you touch it, the yams sound feel like they have a layer of plastic on them and you hear a “tap tap tap.”

Candied Yams ~ crispy crunchy candy yams! | www.savoringspoon.comAfter frying they look like this ~ golden with slight browning around the edges. Now you’re ready for stir frying them with melted sugar. Melt the sugar carefully on a non-stick pot, making sure it does not burn. Then once the sugar is a nice amber brown, throw in the yams and toss till they are coated. Use chopsticks to take the coated yams out of the non-stick pot, and let them dry on a piece of parchment paper. The sugar dries in just a few minutes, and you’ll have crispy yams fluffy on the inside and candied on the outside!

Candied Yams ~ crispy crunchy candy yams! | www.savoringspoon.comThis recipe was lightly adapted from Maangchi‘s Matang recipe, which has a wonderful instructional video you can watch!

Candied Yams

Candied Yams


  • 2 large yams
  • vegetable oil for frying (enough to submerge yams) ~ 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Skin 2 large Asian yams
  2. Cut into triangular blocks about 2 inches wide each.
  3. Add enough vegetable oil to a pot to submerge the yams as you fry (depends on size of pot). I used 4 cups.
  4. Fry on medium high heat until yams are golden brown and hard on the outside ~ about 10 minutes on my stove (go by look of yams, not the exact time). Scoop yams out and place on paper towels to dry.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a non-stick pot and add sugar.On medium heat, cook sugar until it turns amber brown, stirring by swirling the pan instead of stirring the sugar with a spatula.
  6. Add yams to the melted sugar and stir gently to coat in sugar. Take off the heat and pick candied yams out with chopsticks, letting them cool on parchment paper till the candy hardens over the yams.

4 cups vegetable oils sounds like a lot to fry some yams! But you can re-use the oil, so save it up and use it for next time. Here’s a discussion on re-using deep-fry oil from Serious Eats. Bottom line: go ahead and re-use it.

For more deep-fried goodness (once a year I promise, I promise):  Crunchy Homemade Fried Chicken

Home-made crunchy fried chicken |

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Thalia @ butter and brioche September 19, 2014 at 11:32 pm

These yams look so incredibly delicious with that sweet and sticky glaze… incredible that the recipe contains so little ingredients and is so simple. Thanks for sharing it!


2 Sarah September 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Thanks Thalia! I like that it’s simple too!


3 Tash September 20, 2014 at 12:36 am

They look incredible! The ultimate comfort food IMO :)


4 Sarah September 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Thanks Tash! Yams make great comfort food!


5 Joanne September 23, 2014 at 4:27 am

I don’t think I’ve ever had yams prepared this way…but YUM.


6 Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Thanks Joanne! The yams taste like candies!


7 Manali @ CookWithManali September 23, 2014 at 9:27 am

looks amazing! I love that the recipe calls for only 4 ingredients!


8 Sarah September 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Thanks Manali! I love simple recipes too!


9 Grace September 28, 2014 at 5:18 pm

My family would always get these for dessert at Chinese-Korean restaurants! Impossible to eat just one. Yours look so delicious!


10 Sarah September 29, 2014 at 12:59 am

Thanks Grace! I can’t stop when I’m eating these either.


11 Maggie November 17, 2014 at 7:37 am

Wow you made the candied yams! I love the dish but it’s really challenging and I never successfully cook the sugar at home. It’s really easy get burnt. Your dish looks so beautiful :)


12 Sarah November 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

Thanks so much Maggie! I really enjoy this dish too. I was worried about burning the sugar too when I was cooking it, so I stood by the pot watching the sugar really carefully and it went ok!


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