If you can get your hands on Japanese sweet potatoes, you will be rewarded! Baked Japanese sweet potatoes are not as sweet as the orange sweet potatoes we are used to in the U.S., and they are slightly creamier and starchier. They're different in the best and most delicious way!
Recipe: $6 | Per Serving: $0.75 | Yield: 8
What are Japanese Sweet Potatoes?
Here in the U.S., we have maybe 5 varieties of potatoes, but there are thousands of varieties of potatoes grown throughout the world. When we lived in Peru, we had the chance to try new varieties of potatoes all the time. In Japan, the Japanese sweet potato (satsumaimo) became a staple in our home within the first month of our time there.
I am not a huge fan of regular orange sweet potatoes, but these purple & yellow beauties are one of my favorite starches of all time. Japanese sweet potatoes were also my contribution to Christmas Eve dinner and needless to say, they were very well received.
Japanese sweet potatoes are purple on the outside and light yellow inside. In Japan, you can get them roasted over coals for 100 yen (about $1) at many convenience stores.
If you live in the suburbs or near a park, a sweet potato man (yaki-imo man) drives around a truck with a bed full of hot stones and stone-roasted sweet potatoes, much like the ice cream trucks here. It's amazing.
How to Find these Sweet Potatoes in the U.S.
After returning to the U.S. in 2016, I was on the hunt for these babies for over a year! I finally found a potato man at the Baltimore farmer's market who grew these, and I could stock up every Sunday. I've since found them regularly available at Whole Foods. Expensive, but worth it.
Once, I even snagged a bag at Trader Joe's for a very reasonable price. They're called Murasaki Potatoes, and they're in a purple bag. The one I found was a lone bag buried under bags of orange U.S. sweet potatoes and I was so excited.
So get out there and hunt for these Japanese sweet potatoes - you won't be disappointed! When you find a them in stock near you, you can enjoy them baked like this!
How to Bake Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Baking them could not be easier! Japanese sweet potatoes may vary in flavor and appearance from the ones we're used to, but you can make them the exact same way. Scrub them clean, poke them with a fork, and then bake them for 45-90 minutes (depending on the size).
When it comes to serving sizes, I consider approximately ½ a sweet potato to be 1 serving. The potatoes we bought at Whole Foods were huge, more than 1 pound each, so I cut them into 4 servings each. The ones at Trader Joe's are smaller, at about $3.99 for 4 potatoes, and usually split one of those normal-sized potatoes between the two of us.
How to Enjoy these Sweet Potatoes
I recommend serving your beautiful Japanese sweet potatoes with a little ghee (Whole30) or butter (not Whole30). Add some salt and pepper, and that's it!
You can also stuff it with taco fillings, top it with caramelized onions, kale, sausage, and eggs, or just eat it as-is. You don't need any additions whatsoever.
If you followed along with my January 2018 Whole30 journey on Instagram, you might have noticed that these sweet potatoes made a very very regular appearance. Often with breakfast, occasionally as a side dish or snack when one of the meals wasn't quite filling enough. So perfect!
We traveled with breakfast! I packed frittata and baked sweet potato with ghee on Sunday night to ensure a #whole30 breakfast while not at home. Lunch today will be our first meal out, so I scoped out a basic diner with a massive menu close to the theater. Also, FYI, Wawa has hard boiled eggs and fresh fruit cups if you’re have a Food emergency on the parkway. (PS my phone now capitalizes Food every time — it knows how important it is to me!) Wish us luck! . . #whole30breakfast #januarywhole30 #whole30onthego
Additional Potato Recipes to Try
- Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
- Japanese Beef & Potato Stew (Nikujaga)
- Paleo Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potato
- Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes
I hope you enjoy these sweet potatoes as much as I do! If you make them, please be sure to leave a ⭐️ review and comment below!
For videos of different recipes from my blog, please check out my YouTube channel!
Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes
- 3 pounds Japanese sweet potatoes about 2 large
- salt pepper, and ghee or butter for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes clean and stab all over with a large fork.
- Bake the sweet potatoes until they're tender all the way through when you poke them with a fork, about 45-90 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
Serving size is somewhere around ⅓rd of a pound! Nutrition label is for generic sweet potatoes as Japanese sweet potatoes were not available in this analysis.