Yam – costs less than 1 dollar; tastes like a million bucks!

17Feb11

Yam: costs < $1; tastes like $1,000,000! (photo by me)

Yam, a humble root vegetable, usually disguised in its brown skin among the potatoes in the veggie section in the supermarkets. Come to think of it, I can never tell the difference between ‘sweet potato’ and ‘yam’. Oh well. Who cares! What matter is that yam tastes wonderful!

What I love most about yam is that it’s not fussy. A decent sized yam will cost you no more than a dollar. Yet, it’s going to stuff your stomach like nothing else. And it’s so easy to cook. Shown in the photo was a yam which was diced (with skin on), tossed with some salt, pepper and olive oil, and baked at 350˚F for about 40 minutes. The end result is soft, sweet, hot, yummy goodness that hugs you from the inside.

Back when I was in Hong Kong, a popular street snack is baked whole yam.

(photo by blogs.loyola.edu)

Unlike the food stalls in Vancouver, the vendors often appeared at random street corners at random times. So it felt very much like discovering treasure when you stumble upon a stall that sold your favorite snack, especially when you are hungry. The baked yam was usually placed in a brown paper bag custom made to fit just one yam. Steam would be piping out the bundle, and you would be guaranteed to burn your mouth with the first bite ‘cos it’s so hot but you just couldn’t wait. After a few bites you’d be feeling full but you’d still cup the remaining yam with your hands to steal some warmth from it.

In case your mouth is watering, try some new yam recipes, such as the Traditional Chinese Sweet Potato & Ginger Dessert Soup and the Candied Yam Cupcakes.

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