Maple Chili Crisp Sweet Potatoes

In Minneapolis,  I went to a restaurant that a friend was able to get reservations for months in advance. It is called Owamni and is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the country. All of the dishes are made with native ingredients, meaning no ingredients post-colonial times. This sweet potato dish stood out to me and I was thrilled to find it on line to replicate and share with you. It may be a bit labor intensive but it will be worth it! ( or you can cheat and just use Fly By Jing Chili Crisp!) Enjoy!

Owamni Maple-Chile Crisp with Sweet Potatoes:

Owamni Maple-Chile Crisp ( or you can cheat and just use Fly By Jing Chili Crisp!)

  • 30 medium-size chiles de árbol (about 1/2 ounce), stemmed
  • 4 medium chipotle or morita chiles (about 1/2 ounce), stemmed and cut into 2 pieces each
  • 3 medium guajillo chiles (about 1/2 ounce), stemmed and cut into 3 pieces each
  • 1 small ancho chile (about 1/2 ounce), stemmed and cut into 3 pieces
  • 4 medium scallions (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons maple sugar
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups sunflower oil

Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 medium-size (8-ounce) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt

Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 medium-size (8-ounce) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt


Make the Owamni maple-chile crisp:

  1. Spread half of the chile pieces in a single layer with minimal overlap on a microwavable plate. Microwave on high 45 seconds. (Many of the chiles will puff up; steam usually appears.) Repeat process with remaining half of chiles. Let cool about 5 minutes.
  2. Wearing a pair of disposable gloves, gently press open brittle chiles, shaking out and discarding seeds. Cut seeded chiles into pieces no larger than 3/4 inch using scissors.
  3. Working in 4 batches, place one-fourth of the chile pieces in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Process until chopped, about 4 pulses. (Aim for most pieces to be no larger than 1/4 inch.) Transfer chiles to a 9- x 13-inch baking pan.
  4. Finely chop white and light green scallion parts to measure about 1 tablespoon. Thinly slice dark green scallion parts to measure about 1/4 cup; reserve for sweet potatoes. Add chopped white and light green scallion parts, maple sugar, garlic, and salt to chiles in baking pan; stir until well combined. Season with additional salt to taste for a balanced spicy, sweet, savory finish. (Keep baking pan on the stove or a heatproof surface.)
  5. Pour sunflower oil into a small, heavy saucepan with a lip for easy pouring. Heat oil over medium to 400°F. Remove from heat, and carefully pour hot oil over chile mixture in baking pan; gently shake baking pan to evenly coat chiles. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make the sweet potatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until just tender in center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Test doneness by inserting a skewer or knife in thickest part of sweet potato; you should have slight resistance at the center.) Let cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise. Sear sweet potatoes, cut side down, until grill marks appear, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking time using a metal spatula and tongs to create crosshatch grill marks. Transfer to 8 individual plates or a platter, and drizzle with Owamni maple-chile crisp (solids plus oil) as desired. Sprinkle evenly with reserved dark green scallion slices, and garnish lightly with salt.

Make Ahead

Sweet potatoes can be roasted up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before searing. Cooled Owamni maple-chile crisp can be stored in a lidded 24-ounce jar in refrigerator up to 3 months.


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