Candied Sweet Potatoes (& Taro)

It seems like in a house with kids, regardless of the way they’re prepared, the sweet potatoes are always the first dish to disappear from the Thanksgiving leftovers. Here then is a Chinese version of candied sweet potatoes to fill that empty spot on the leftover plate! The original name of this type of preparation is “Sweet Potatoes Pulling Threads” because as you pick up a piece, the sugar syrup will make long filaments back to the serving dish.

Taro root is available in Asian markets and occasionally in conventional stores that serve a large Asian population. If you can find taro root, it’s a great addition because it will cut the sweetness of the dish; if not, you can leave it out and use a full pound of sweet potatoes. Our kids love taro root buns (yutou bao) but don’t much like it in any other form.


  • 8 oz sweet potatoes
  • 8 oz taro root
  • 1 T oil
  • 1/2 c sugar, raw cane or white works best
  • 1/2 c water


  1. Peel and cut the potatoes and taro into bite-sized chunks, then steam over medium heat until a knife will enter easily through the center of the pieces, anywhere from 10-30 m. (If they become too mushy, you will have trouble with the following stages.)
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until it shimmers, then add the potatoes and taro, allowing them to brown slightly on each side.
  3. In the meantime, heat the sugar and water over medium high heat in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the liquid reduces to a thin syrup.
  4. Add the potatoes and taro to the saucepan, tossing quickly to coat with syrup, then remove to a serving plate and serve immediately.

One Response

  1. Thanks for the recipe!!

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