The local Chinese store was out of daikon so my husband (knowingly) bought a root that looked similar. He thought it would either be a good substitute or a good adventure.

The root is long like daikon but with a thin brown skin and roots, like many potatoes. Cutting into it revealed a gooey substance inside.

Fortunately, if you Google “sticky Japanese root”, yamaimo is the only result. They are sometimes also called “Japanese yams.”

Tasting them raw, they have a mild watery flavor but also a tangy taste. The taste is a little similar to dragonfruit, but starchy like a potato. I really like it.

According to this website, yamaimo are ancient roots with short grow seasons, making them fairly rare:

Fortunately, I found a recipe for how to prepare them on Just One Cookbook:

It recommended sautéing the yams with soy sauce. I also mixed them with the eggplant and zucchini that my husband had bought for dinner.

The result is SO TASTY! Next time I see yamaimo at the store, I will definitely buy them again!

Published by Dr. Daina Crafa

International neuroscientist. I study culture and sometimes make art. Italian-American, currently working in Amsterdam. Professional author. Photohobbyist. Full-time adventurer.

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