Fear, Loathing, & DIY

Coconut Curry and 5 Spice Sweet Potato Chips with Finger-tip on the Side

February 2, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

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We received a Magic Chef Food Dehydrator as a wedding gift and I’ve been wanting to make a variety of chewy dehydrated things but never had the time to try it out–that is until this rainy cold weekend. It was the perfect time to set the dehydrator up and watch a little tv, and I decided my first try at this chewy, hopefully crispy, world would be sweet potato chips.


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, sliced on a mandolin on a medium thickness
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 table spoons of spice mix of choice


It was at the very first step of this endeavor that shit got complicated. Really complicated! I was cutting the sweet potatoes on the mandolin at its thickest setting and those bitches were not slicing easy. I read on several blogs to keep the slices thick (after cooking I recommend a medium thickness), so I was trying my best, havin’ at it, and of course I sliced the tip of my middle finger right off. Yes, off. I was bleeding profusely and a pale lil nub of my finger was just hanging out on the blade, lost, abandoned, and looking more like a finger tip than what I ever wanted to see removed from my body. After I rinsed my finger off and held the guy above my head for an hour, I couldn’t get the bleeding to stop. So step two of this whole process was a trip to a free standing Emergency Room to close up the wound! There wasn’t enough skin for stitches so they burned the flesh, wrapped it up, and sent me on my way.

Step three was to go back home and finish up the damn potatoes. Remarkably there was no blood on the them, so I drizzled a bit of olive oil on them (about two tablespoons), then divided them in half for seasoning. On one half I used a coconut curry mix and on the other a Chinese five spice blend. Both were purchased in bulk at Central Market.  I am sure a person can mix up their own spices for these and that would work great, too, but a pre-mixed spice blend was right up my alley especially with one finger down.

Some recipes recommended soaking the potatoes before spicing them, and others didn’t. It seemed pointless to me to add liquids when I was trying to remove them so I skipped soaking.

I distributed the slices on the trays, being careful to not overlap, then turned the beast on. My initial plan was to let them dehydrate for six hours, rotating the trays every hour, but that wasn’t long enough. After six  hours the slices were limp and chewy. I decided to sleep on it and left them cooking over night. The total cook time for these guys ended up being around twelve hours.

All in all they are pretty good. The coconut curry seasoning provided the perfect salty goodness that every chip needs and the five spice ones had a more subtle flavor. They aren’t as crispy flaky as a fried chip but they have a nice crunch and I would definitely make them again, as long as someone else cut the sweet potatoes up.

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