These vegan Korean loaded sweet potato fries are topped with maple tamari tempeh, kimchi, gochujang cashew cream, and cilantro. They are one of my favourite loaded fries recipes yet!
Loaded fries are one of my favourite vegan comfort food meals. And when you make them with sweet potato oven fries instead of deep-fried potato fries, they actually end up being incredibly nutritious! Since I posted my last loaded fries recipe–Loaded Sweet Potato Fries with Miso Tahini Gravy, Greens, and Chickpeas—I’ve been feeling creatively inspired to come up with variations on the theme.
I know I say this a lot, but these vegan Korean loaded sweet potato fries are one of my favourite versions. Sweet potato oven fries are topped with maple tamari-marinated tempeh (basically a vegan version of Korean bbq beef), gochujang cashew cream, kimchi, cilantro, and radishes. I love serving them up in a big cast iron skillet for the ultimate communal family meal!
- Complete meal: We found these fries to be so satisfying that we enjoyed them as a stand-alone dinner. Nutritionally speaking, all the bases are covered: carbs from the sweet potato, protein from the tempeh, and fat from the gochujang cashew cream! They really are satisfying.
- Packed with good for you ingredients: Kimchi is abundant in gut-healthy probiotic bacteria; tempeh is rich in minerals like iron and magnesium; and sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, which is extra important for immunity and eye health!
step by step instructions
- First and foremost, get your tempeh marinating! It needs to marinate for at least 2 hours for best flavour, although it’ll still be tasty if 30 minutes is all you can swing. You’ll marinate cubed tempeh in a mixture of tamari, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, chili flakes, rice vinegar, barbecue sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. We’re trying to imitate the flavour of Korean bbq beef here!
- Make the sweet potato oven fries. Slice the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch matchsticks and place them in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, toss, then sprinkle on arrowroot starch, salt, and pepper. Toss again and transfer to two baking sheets. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping them halfway through to ensure even browning.
- Meanwhile, cook the tempeh. Start by stir frying some sliced onion and garlic in a little olive oil, then add the tempeh and cook until a nice sear around the edges is achieved.
- Make the gochujang cashew cream by blending together the gochujang, cashews, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and water.
- Gather all the remaining ingredients: thinly sliced green onion, sriracha or hot sauce, kimchi, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
- Serve the fries topped with all the fixings and dig in!
tips and tricks
- Remember to soak the raw cashews beforehand. I use a quick soak method by soaking them in boiling water for 45 minutes. This softens them and makes them easier to blend, and enhances their digestibility.
- If you don’t have time to make my gochujang-style chili paste, feel free to use store-bought gochujang. You might want to use a little less, depending on how spicy it is. (My recipe is quite mild.)
- If you don’t have time to make sweet potato oven fries, use your favourite store-bought sweet potato fries, or just bake whole sweet potatoes and stuff them with the toppings for a simplified option.
- If you’re vegan, make sure that the kimchi you use is vegan. Some brands contain fish.
- Depending on your appetite for tempeh, you might end up with some leftovers. It’s really tasty on wraps, salads, and bowls at lunch the next day.
- If you don’t eat soy, swap out the tempeh for 2 cups of cooked black beans, and the tamari in the marinade for coconut aminos.
- If you’re wondering what the heck gochujang is, read this first!
- If you’re adept with chopsticks, use them!
I hope you get the chance to try these vegan Korean loaded sweet potato fries soon! If you make them, let me know how you enjoyed them with a comment and rating below the post. And if you share a photo to Instagram, tag @upbeet.kitchen and #upbeetkitchen so that I can share you re-creations in my stories!Print
Delicious loaded sweet potato fries, topped with satisfying and flavourful tempeh, gochujang cashew cream, kimchi, and more!
- 454g (1 lb) organic tempeh (2 packages), chopped into ½-inch cubes
- 3 tbsp reduced sodium tamari
- 3 tbsp barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
Sweet Potato Oven Fries
- 6 medium or 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Couple pinches each fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
Gochujang Cashew Cream
- ¼ cup Gochujang-Style Chili Paste or store-bought gochujang*
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked** and drained
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 medium garlic clove
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- ⅔ cup water, plus more as needed
- 1 ½ cups raw vegan kimchi
- Thinly sliced green onions
- Thinly sliced watermelon radishes
- Sriracha or hot sauce
- Sesame seeds
- Marinate the tempeh: Place the tempeh cubes in a steamer basket and steam for 2 minutes. This helps the tempeh absorb the tasty marinade. Transfer the tempeh to a 9×13 dish. Mix the tamari, barbecue sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, and chili flakes together in a bowl and pour over the tempeh. Toss to coat every cube with the marinade, cover, and set aside for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
- Make the sweet potato oven fries: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the sweet potatoes into matchsticks about ¼ of an inch in width. Place in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat and then sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and arrowroot. Toss again and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Place them in an even layer with a bit of space in between each matchstick to ensure that they cook properly. Cook for 30-40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- Make the gochujang cashew cream: Place the gochujang, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and water in an upright blender and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed- you’re aiming for a cashew sour cream consistency. Transfer into an airtight container.
- Cook the tempeh: Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions have softened and are getting nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Add the marinated tempeh and cook until the tempeh is getting nicely browned, 5-10 minutes more.
- To serve, you have a few options! I put all of the sweet potato fries into my cast iron skillet and loaded them up with the tempeh, gochujang cream, kimchi, radishes, cilantro, green onions, and sesame seeds, then let everyone help themselves. However, you can also just leave all the components separate and let people serve themselves.
*If you use store-bought gochujang, start with a tablespoon and add more as needed. My gochujang recipe is quite mild in comparison to many store-bought varieties.
**Remember to soak the cashews in boiling water for 45 minutes before making the sauce.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Supper
- Cuisine: Korean
Keywords: loaded korean fries, loaded vegan sweet potato fries, korean tempeh