Making vegetable chips is a fun and tasty way to convert a pile of root vegetables, like beets, parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, and more, into a crispy snack! Add a tasty dip, and you have a great party food for the next time you feel like doing a little deep frying.
A couple of weeks ago I visited the Rochester Public Market when we were up visiting my in-laws. It’s a great outdoor market full every sort of vegetable and fruit you could ask for.
Do you know what I asked for?
Also know as chioggia beets or candystripe beets, bullseye beets have a concentric ring pattern of white and red. Chioggia beets are a heirloom variety of beets from Italy, hence the name chioggia, which is from the town of Chioggia near Venice. Sadly, if you roast, saute or steam them, they lose their pretty coloring. This means you want to quick cook them as for pickles or in deep frying. (Or eat them raw.)
While I used to be able to buy bullseye beets regularly from the farmer’s market, the current mix of farms does not have them! Which means that when I saw them at the public market, I immediately snagged a bunch and made plans.
Guess what my husband has been asking for each summer for the past two years? I’ll give you one guess.
Yes, bullseye beet chips. He loves them and thinks they are so cool. I can’t argue with him since they are very tasty and a fun way to use them. Since I didn’t have too many beets, I added in other vegetables to make mixed root vegetable chips.
However, don’t feel as you though you need to find fancy beets to make these chips! That was our thing. We wanted fancy beets. Sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, regular old red beets or golden beets, potatoes (blue ones are fun!), taro root, and lotus roots all make great vegetable chips.
So, what do you need to deep fry root vegetables (or any other chips really)?
- a high sided heavy pot to hold temperature and with plenty of room for the oil
- vegetable oil or any oil with a high smoke point (over 400F)
- a mandoline – I LOVE my GSD mandoline and I use it all time
- a vegetable peeler which can make wide strips – I have an OXO swivel peeler which is comfy and easy to use
- paper towels, a tray, kosher or sea salt
- a skimmer/spider for scooping up the chips as they are done
And some time. I’ll let you know right now that this isn’t a quick process. Too many veggie slices at once will cool off your oil and you will end up with soggy chips. Just say no to soggy chips! However, this means that you will need to do a lot of small batches.
Each beet is one batch. A medium sweet potato is two batches. Three large carrots are another two batches. The time for the oil to heat before you start, plus the time to cook the batches, plus the time to wait for the oil to reheat in between means you’ll want to mark out over an hour to make a decent sized pile of chips.
If we had to fry every chip we ate, we would eat a lot less chips! Eat fewer chips, but eat awesomely tasty and fresh chips you made yourself. 🙂
– Happy Frying, Annemarie
Some sauces which would be great for vegetable chips:
- 3 bulls eye beets
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 3 large carrots
- 6 cups vegetable oil
- sea salt or kosher salt
Slice the beets and the sweet potatoes 1 mm thick with a mandoline. Shave the carrots with a vegetable peeler. Shave one side until you reach the core and then flip the carrot over and shave the other side.
Set up three bowls of ice water and let the vegetable rest in the water for 30 minutes.
While the vegetables are resting, add the oil to a heavy, high side pot and heat it to 350F as read with a high temperature thermometer. I heat the oil on low to medium low and it takes 15-20 minutes on my stove.
Drain each type of vegetable and blot them dry with towels. The drier the better for frying.
Set up two cooling racks lined with paper towels.
For the beets and sweet potatoes, fry them for 4 minutes, turning frequently until they are browned and crisp. This will take 5 batches. As you remove each batch to the cooling rack with your skimmer, sprinkle it with some salt and spread it out to drain. Then, when you're ready to scoop out the next batch, pile them up on the other cooling rack.
For the carrots, fry them for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close watch so they don't burn. Transfer them to the cooling rack as before and sprinkle with salt. Three carrots are 2 batches for the fryer.
Fresh vegetable chips don't last long. Eat them preferably as soon as they come out of the fryer, and definitely within 2 hours of frying.