Roasted Japanese Yam with Chrysanthemum Greens

Try this vegan-friendly meal made with fresh yamaimo (Japanese yam) and shungiku (chrysanthemum greens). The yam is topped with umeboshi plum paste and fresh shiso.

Yamaimo is a Japanese mountain yam which is a very popular staple in Japanese cooking.  When peeled, this tuber is slippery to the touch and can be grated to make tororo, which is used in a noodle dish called yamakake udon, or diced and roasted.  Yamaimo loses its slippery texture when cooked, but remains somewhat crunchy.

Yamakake Udon

Shungiku are chrysanthemum greens and have a very unique taste when cooked.  They don’t need any added spices because shungiku has the taste of an herb; it reminds me a little bit of parsnips or carrots.

I like to brush yamaino with soy sauce when I cook it.  The soy soaks in a little bit and glazes the yamaimo as it cooks.  The umeboshi and shiso are often served with yamaimo, and they provide a nice topper.

 

Roasted Japanese Yam with Chrysanthemum Greens

This is a simple dish that only uses a handful of ingredients, but it is absolutely bursting with flavor.   Japanese mountain yams, known as either yamaimo (山芋) which translates to mountain potato, or nagaimo (長芋), which translates to long potato, can be found in most Asian groceries that sell fresh produce.  Shungiku (春菊), or Chrysanthemum greens, are a common ingredient in Japanese hotpots and are also f round in many Asian grocery stores.

PREP COOKING YIELD
30 mins Serves 2
PREP 30 mins
COOKING
YIELD Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 Mountain yam (yamaimo)
  • 1  package of Umeboshi (6-8 large soft red pickled plums)
  • 1 package of Hachimitsu Umeboshi (6-8 large soft brown pickled plums)
  • 1 bunch of Chrysanthemum Greens (shungiku)
  • 1 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • White Sesame Seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 degrees F.
  • Remove the seeds from the umeboshi plums and blend together in a food processor to make a paste.

  • Chop the shiso leaves.

  • Peel the yamaimo and cut off the ends.  Slice diagonally into 3/4” (2 cm) thick slices

  • Put a silicone mat or a piece of parchment paper on a baking pan.  Lay out the yam slices and brush lightly with soy sauce.

  • Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.

  • Turn the yams, spoon some plum paste over each piece and top with shiso leaves.  Bake for 5 more minutes.

  • While waiting for the yams, boil the greens in water for 2 minutes.  Drain.

  • Remove the yams from the oven.  Plate the yams and greens.  Top the greens with sesame seeds if desired.

Notes:

Umeboshi pickled plums can be purchased online or at an Asian grocery store – there are several types.  I recommend for this dish that you by the large soft ones – 1 pack of sweet plums, which are green, and 1 pack of sour plums which are red.  Don’t buy the small hard ones- you will need soft and squishy plums to make paste.

 

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