I Just Tried Japanese Sweet Potatoes for the First Time and I'm Officially Obsessed
I'm the type of person who gets just as excited for a trip to the grocery store as I do for a spa day. I'm sure that seems odd to most, but there's something so relaxing and satisfying about cruising up and down the aisles, browsing through vibrant produce and discovering new products and goods. During one of my most recent ventures to the market, I noticed a bunch of potatoes with magenta skin poking through the yams and yukon golds. After a quick Google search, I learned that they're called Japanese sweet potatoes and are of the Murasaki variety. I also read that they have a very different taste and texture than more popular potatoes.
After experimenting with these little purple beauties, I can confirm that Japanese potatoes are unlike any other potato I've ever had. The inner white flesh has a nutty, earthy taste with a very subtle sweetness—they're kind of like the best possible combination of a russet potato and a yam. Whether baked, fried, sauteed or mashed, Japanese sweet potatoes come out perfectly every time, and since they're a bit drier than regular potatoes, they get super browned and crisp in the oven.
The first time I cooked with Japanese sweet potatoes, I decided to make some baked french fries to pair with homemade veggie burgers. I like my potato wedges to be a bit more hearty and rustic, so I usually leave the skin on. Not only did my baked fries taste delicious, but they were almost too beautiful to eat. When cooking Japanese sweet potatoes, the magenta skin becomes even more bold and colorful and the white flesh takes on a golden hue. To add even more flavor to my fries, I finished them off with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and some dried rosemary. They were incredible. So much so that my husband requested I only buy Japanese sweet potatoes from here on out.
Since then, I've made countless meals with Japanese sweet potatoes as the star of the dish. From Mediterranean to Mexican, and even Italian, this starchy veggie is easy to incorporate into any cuisine. I've cooked them up with ground chorizo and jalapenos for spicy tacos or cut them into chips to dip into tzatziki and hummus.
I always make sure I have Japanese sweet potatoes on hand each week because they're a great addition to any meal. Create a nourishing breakfast hash with cubed sweet potato, ground sausage, and a sunny-side up egg. Get creative with a Japanese sweet potato PB&J by making "toast" with a generous schmear of almond butter and jelly, or make a classic baked potato with all of your favorite fillings. You really can't go wrong with whatever you choose.