Recipe submitted by Campfire Dan
The Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato has a lovely purple flesh just full of those same antioxidants you find in blueberries. Freshly cut it is a light bluish-rose with white streaks. It darkens as it cooks to a deep purple. The flavor is delicately sweet with none of the carroty taste of orange sweet potatoes. It is a favorite at Hawaiian luaus so it is sometimes called “Hawaiian Sweet Potato”. The plant grows rampant like most viney sweet potatoes (it is definitely not a “bush” type) so it is a nice ground cover.
This recipe is probably too simple to call a recipe. But then again, most everything I cook is rather simple or I wouldn’t cook it. And it is vegetarian – or can be vegan if you prefer.
One large Purple Sweet Potato or a few small ones
Vegan or other margarine or cheddar cheese or vegan cheese sauce.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into cubes.
Microwave with a bit of water in a covered microwave-safe glass bowl. You can also boil them but that loses some of the antioxidants in the cooking water. Mash and serve with vegan or regular margarine. For non-vegan vegetarians melted cheddar cheese is a remarkably tasty topping for this sweet potato. You can also make a quick vegan cheese sauce that goes well with this dish. Just add some vegetarian nutritional yeast (the stuff with B-12) to vegan margarine and heat in the microwave. Pour over the mashed potatoes when serving.
You can see from the picture of the final mashed product that this sweet potato is stupendous for coloring up the holiday table. Think mounds of orange and purple mashed sweet potato side by side with maybe a tad of deep red cranberry sauce on the plate as a garnish.
I have also made purple sweet potato chips from them (slice thin and deep fry). The possibilities are endless. There are all sorts of on-line recipes for this lovely tuber since it is so popular in Japan and Hawaii. Search for Hawaiian, Okinawan, Japanese or Purple Sweet Potato Recipes. There is even an ice cream recipe that uses this instead of the tropical yam “Ube.” An interesting recipe I found recently is purple sweet potato pie with caramelized macadamia nuts at the online magazine Asiance: (http://asiancemagazine.com/nov_2006/ingredient_for_the_holidays_okinawan_purple_sweet_potatoes)
Sounds incredible but way too complicated for my klutzy kitchen skills.
I grow these anywhere I want to smother weeds and they seem to grow fine here just north of Gainesville. If I leave them in the ground too long voles eat them and all I get when I dig are big succulent empty peels (curses, voled again!)
If you don’t grow your own you can sometimes find this sweet potato locally at the Chun Ching market in Gainesville on NW 8th Avenue near NW 6th Street. It is also available by the crate from Mellissa’s Produce (http://www.melissas.com/). But the ones from these sources I’ve tried are irradiated so you won’t be able to get cuttings from then that will grow.
Some health food stores and Asian food stores offer purple sweet potato powder which is supposed to be good for the purple ice cream recipes but fresh is always better!