Published On: Sun, Nov 26th, 2023

Japanese sweet potatoes are the best sweet potatoes

Japanese sweet potatoes are the best sweet potatoes
Japanese sweet potatoes are the best sweet potatoes


As someone whose previous ode to sweet potatoes was headlined “My Orange Crush,” I have a confession to make. Don’t worry; my devotion to sweet potatoes hasn’t ebbed. But for years now, I’ve been prone to skipping over the orange varieties in favor of the starchier, nuttier, pale-fleshed, purple-skinned beauties from Japan.

Which do I love more, their flavor or their texture? Hard to say. They taste like buttery chestnuts, and when you bake them their interiors get so fluffy, thanks to less moisture, they taste like a cross between a white Russet and an orange Beauregard — and somehow more appealing than either.

Get the recipe: Japanese Sweet Potatoes With Tofu and Gochujang Butter

I’ve taken to baking them regularly for my husband and me — with an extra one or two for the teenager to snag on one of his late-night fridge raids. They can handle any of the toppings I’d typically put out for a baked-potato bar, including ground chicken (for them), black beans (for me), plus the dairy trifecta of butter, cheese and sour cream, and maybe some salsa and pumpkin seeds. But recently I followed my cravings — and the contents of my refrigerator and pantry — in a different, even tastier direction.

While the sweet potatoes cooked in the air fryer, I crumbled tofu and got it nice and crisp in a hot pan, seasoning it very simply. Then I mashed spicy-sweet gochujang and sesame oil into vegan butter, sliced a couple scallions, and had just enough time to clean up before the potatoes were steaming hot inside, ready to slash open, top and devour.

If you’re anything like me, this combination will be a keeper. And while I designed the toppings especially to go with Japanese sweet potatoes, I’ve since tried it with my old orange friends, too, and remembered: Tastes change, but some crushes are forever.

Get the recipe: Japanese Sweet Potatoes With Tofu and Gochujang Butter


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