Japanese sweet potatoes are the ultimate superfood—they’re healthy, nutritious, delicious and filling! While this isn’t a particularly complex recipe, I wanted to talk about how we enjoy Japanese sweet potatoes and the different things you can do with them!
Japanese Sweet Potatoes vs. Orange Sweet Potatoes
Of course, all sweet potatoes are incredibly healthy, but the clearest difference between a Japanese sweet potato and a standard sweet potato is the color. Japanese sweet potatoes are purple on the outside and yellow inside.
I’ve also anecdotally found that the water content of a Japanese sweet potato seems to be slightly less. The texture is a little bit fluffier and starchier, which I personally enjoy. The flavor has more of a candy-like sweetness, with a nutty, chestnut-like flavor and texture.
That’s why, in my humble opinion, they’re such a great all-purpose item to have during the week for snacking and meal-prepping. They’re super satisfying, and are closer in flavor and texture to a standard white potato.
The Benefits of Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Japanese sweet potatoes are of course packed with vitamins and fiber, but they’re really an incredible source of complex carbohydrates that fill you up, fuel you, and ensure that you have energy to go about your day, or burn calories without needing to deprive yourself of carbohydrates!
We’re smack dab in the middle of guilt over forgotten new year’s resolutions and the rising anticipation of getting in summer shape. But I’m a big believer that anyone looking to get healthier doesn’t have to limit themselves to leaves and bricks of poached chicken breast to get healthy. Japanese sweet potatoes are one of my favorite snacks and building blocks for delicious and filling meals.
How to Eat Them
We like to steam or roast our Japanese sweet potatoes. This recipe is for roasting in particular, as roasting potatoes is one of those things that can be surprisingly tricky if you get your cooking temperatures and times wrong.
Once you’ve got a great roasted Japanese sweet potato, you can eat it in so many different ways. There is some debate in the family on this topic. My mom loves them plain and can’t imagine eating them savory / salty. I, however, love the combination of the sweet chestnut flavor and really big flavors that add salt, spice, and healthy fats into the mix.
Here are some of the ways we enjoy them:
- As a snack, plain, or dipped in salt, or any other seasoning of choice—salt & black pepper, salt & white pepper, salt with chili flakes even! Experiment!
- Served as a side with salt and maybe even a pat of butter.
- Used in a salad—this would be a great addition to our Thai Chicken Salad with Red Curry!
- As a loaded baked potato with Mexican favorites like beans, chorizo, and maybe even a little bit of queso. (I’ve gotten hooked on cashew queso lately!) All you need is some vegetables on the side to make it a full meal.
Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes: Instructions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C. Using a fork, poke holes in the sweet potatoes to create steam vents. Just do a few per side. You don’t want too much moisture to escape, which can actually slow down the cooking time.
Bake the sweet potatoes for 45-50 minutes.
When they are fork-tender, remove from the oven and serve. You can also let them cool, store in an airtight container, and snack on them throughout the week.
Perfect Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes
- 1 Japanese sweet potato (scrubbed)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C. Using a fork, poke holes in the sweet potato to create steam vents. Just a couple per side are needed, as you don’t want too much moisture to escape, which can actually slow down the cooking time.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes.
- When they are fork-tender, remove from the oven and serve. You can also let them cool, store in an airtight container, and snack on them throughout the week.