Wondering how to dice a sweet potato like a chef? Today we’re going to learn just that! Dicing a sweet potato is not hard, so long as you have the right equipment and the right technique.
Why Dice a Sweet Potato?
A diced sweet potato takes a few extra steps to get perfectly even cubes. So you might be wondering why you would want to go to the trouble anyway.
Well, a diced sweet potato is great for a variety of recipes. Even cubes means your dish will look prettier in the end. It also results in much more even cooking.
Once you learn this technique, try making a quinoa bowl with diced sweet potatoes, or roast them up in the oven as a sweet OR savory side dish!
What You’ll Need
Now, before you start dicing sweet potatoes, there are a few materials you’ll need to gather.
First of all, you’ll need a sharp chef’s knife. Maybe you’ve noticed before that sweet potatoes are not the easiest vegetable to cut. They are harder and denser than regular potatoes, so the knife just doesn’t go through as easily.
If your knife is dull, it will be very hard to cut sweet potatoes in any way, including a dice.
If you’re not sure if about the sharpness of your knife, you can test it by holding up a piece of paper in one hand and slicing through the paper one a diagonal with the knife in your other hand. The knife should go through effortlessly. If it doesn’t, it needs a good sharpening.
I’ve tried cutting sweet potatoes with a dull knife before I knew any better…and let me tell you, it is much more dangerous than using a sharp knife. Don’t make the same mistake that I did!
In addition to the knife, make sure you have a good cutting board and something to make the board non-slip. I usually just slide a kitchen towel underneath mine to keep it from sliding around everywhere.
How to Dice Sweet Potatoes Step by Step
Now that we’ve covered that, it looks like you’re all ready to get started! So let’s start dicing our sweet potato one step at a time.
The first thing to do is peel your sweet potato. This is optional, but usually when you’re looking for beautiful, even cubes, you won’t leave the peel on.
Next, cut off a little bit of one side of the sweet potato so that you have a flat surface. This cut is probably the most difficult since you have to make it WITHOUT a flat surface. Just use your non-dominant hand to anchor the sweet potato to the board. Give it some pressure to make sure it doesn’t move around.
Once you have that first flat surface, lay it down on the cutting board. From here the cuts will be much easier. Continue to square off the potato (we need flat surfaces on all sides to get an even dice!) So cut off each side until the whole thing is flat.
Next, decide on the size of your dice. All your cuts from here on out should be that size. (Usually a dice is between 1/4″ and 3/4″). Once you have decided on the size, slice down through the sweet potato lengthwise, cutting the sweet potato into planks. (see what my planks look like on the bottom left photo).
From here, cut your planks into fry shapes, once again cutting lengthwise. Make sure your cuts are the same size here as the last cut you made. If you’re unsure, you can always use a kitchen ruler!
Now it is finally time to dice! Rotate your fry shapes and begin cutting them into even cubes. Use the same size cuts as before, and simply cut cubes all the way down the fries. Repeat for all the fries, and pretty soon you’ll have a lovely even dice!
When people see the method for dicing, they often complain because of the waste (the pieces that are left when we square off the potato). But you don’t have to waste these pieces!
Instead of throwing these away, grab them and cut them into wedges. You can easily roast these into some wedge-style sweet potato fries!
Can you dice sweet potatoes in a food processor?
No, unfortunately sweet potatoes cannot be diced in a food processor. A food processor simply will not cut even pieces of ANY vegetable. You may be able to roughly chop veggies in the food processory, but dicing is a no-go.
How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
If you need something to do with your newly diced sweet potatoes, a simple roast is a great way to go! Roasting sweet potatoes is not hard to do at ALL.
Simply toss your cubes in some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast on a sheet pan at 450 degrees until fork tender. You can also add in extra herbs or spices for extra punch! I like to add some garlic powder and smoked paprika.
How to dice sweet potatoes with the skin
If you would prefer to keep the skin on your sweet potatoes, you unfortunately won’t be able to get a perfect dice. Squaring off the potato is what gives you the even dice, and that removes the skin.
However, if you follow the steps above without squaring off the potato, you can still get a pretty nice chop! You’ll just have some pieces with the round edge of the sweet potato.
More Knife Skills to Learn
Dicing a sweet potato is a worthwhile technique to learn. You can use diced sweet potatoes in many side dishes and soups, and the result will be beautiful! So what are you waiting for? Get in your kitchen and start practicing your sweet potato knife cuts!