Crushed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Onion

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Appears in

A Passion for Vegetables

By Paul Gayler

Published 1999

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  • 4 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, well scrubbed
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100 g (4 oz) streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Fufu, or foo-foo, comes from the Caribbean and is a dish of pounded plaintain or ground rice, although I have also seen it made with sweet potatoes and even cassava. I prefer a coarser version, spiced with jerk seasoning and served in vegetable shells – a more sophisticated presentation!

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Prick the sweet potatoes with a small knife, then rub them with 4 tablespoons of the oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until tender. Remove and leave until cool enough to handle. Out a slice off the top of each potato and scoop out the flesh into a bowl, leaving the shell intact. Crush the potato flesh coarsely with a fork.

    Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and fry for 5 minutes, until crisp. Add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the potato flesh and season with the jerk seasoning, salt and pepper.

    Fill the potato shells with the fufu. Mix the breadcrumbs with the parsley and coriander. Pour the melted butter over the potatoes and scatter the herb breadcrumbs on top. Place in the oven for 10 minutes to form a golden crust.

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