2medium Japanese sweet potatoes (around 700 g), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch thick matchsticks
3tablespoons(45 g) sunflower oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
1teaspoonbrown sesame seeds
1teaspoonblack sesame seeds
3/8teaspoonfine sea salt
a few pinches togarashi or cayenne powder (optional – for spiciness)
3nori crisps (such as Gimme brand, 2x3" each), slivered
dark green part of 1-2 scallions, slivered
2tablespoons(30 ml) good mayonnaise (such as Spectrum Olive Oil)
½teaspoonwasabi paste (more to taste)
squeeze lemon juice
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425ºF.
Place the sweet potato matchsticks on a large, rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the oil, sesame seeds, and salt, tossing well to coat. Spread in a single layer and bake 10-15 minutes until golden on the bottom; they should release from the pan fairly easily using a thin metal spatula once they’ve developed some color. Flip the slices over and cook until golden all over, 5-10 more minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of togarashi if using (a little goes a long way!), and the slivered nori and scallion.
Meanwhile, make the aioli by stirring together the mayonnaise, wasabi, and lemon juice, adding more wasabi to taste if you like.
Serve the fries hot with the aioli for dipping.
Japanese sweet potatoes have a burgundy skin and ivory interior, though russets or regular sweet potatoes can likely stand in if need be.Nutritional values are based on one of three servings.