Nigerian Recipes Yam Recipes

How to Cook Yam

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What is yam and how do you cook it? Firstly, can I burst your bubbles and break it to you that yam is a Vegetable… Well, a tuberous root vegetable!! More, importantly, yam should not be confused with sweet potatoes. They are not the same thing.

tuber of yam.

What is Yam?

According to Wikipedia, yam is a common name for plant species in the genus “Dioscorea” that form edible tubers. Yam is also often referred to as potatoes in some other part of the world. In Africa, water yam and puna as called yam. Sweet potatoes are often referred to as yam but they are not the same thing. In fact, when you do a quick search on google for yam recipes, you will be bombarded with sweet potato recipes.

slices of unpeeled yam.

African Yam

Yam (Puna) is very popular in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Do you know Nigeria produces over 70% of the yam consumed in the world? You can have boiled yam on your table in under 30 minutes. Yam is a blank canvas, it requires few ingredients to make it and it is very easy to cook too.

Some of the Nigerian Popular yam recipes include the almighty pounded yam also called Iyan. Egusi soup is a perfect accompaniment for pounded yam (Iyan) and it is often served at Nigerian parties too. Don’t add salt to yam if it is meant to be eaten as pounded yam.

slices of yam.

Boiled yam is another popular way to cook and eat yam. It is very quick to make too. You only need salt in boiled yam but some people also add sugar. I do this sometimes too. Boiled yam can be eaten with Egg Sauce, Corned beef stew, Egg stew, Ata dindin (fried stew), Garden egg stew or the good old tried and trusted omelette.

Other ways to enjoy it

Like I mentioned earlier, yam is a blank canvas and you can do just about anything with it. Yam can be eaten boiled, fried, roasted or pounded. It can even be used as part of cake ingredients and also used in dumplings. Well, the Caribbeans do.

Health benefit of yam.

Yam are good source of starch and carbohydrates. It is high in fibre which helps keep hunger at bay. It is also a great source of pottasium, vitamin A and C. Yam acts as an anti oxidant. Overall, yam is a healthy food (vegetable) but it should be eaten in moderation.

What you would need to make boiled yam

Boiled yam is cooked on the stovetop with water and salt

A tuber of puna Yam (white)

Salt (optional)

Water

How to cook yam

Cut the yam tuber into 1-inch sizes

Peel the yam, depending on the circumference of the yam, you may want to cut into half for easier cooking. It fits better when placed in a pan that way.

Rinse yam clean and place in a large saucepan

Add enough water to cover the yam and add salt

Place on medium heat and cook till yam is soft. Yam is cooked if a fork goes through it easily.

Drain the yam (do this to avoid soggy yam) and serve immediately.

the process of peeling yam and cooking it.

Other yam recipes you would love

Fried Yam: The yam is cut into strips and deep fried

fry yam and plantain.

Roasted yam: You cut the yam into Big chunks and roast in the oven or open fire. This is commonly done on an open fire in Nigeria. It is also one of Nigerians popular street snacks, best eaten with special fried sauce. See my special sauce recipe here

Yam Balls: This is mashed yam seasoned with spices and a binder. The mashed yam is formed into a ball, egg washed and covered in breadcrumbs before frying. If you have had rice balls, potato pockets then you would love yam balls

stuffed yam ball.

Oven Baked Yam Chips: A healthy alternative recipe to fried yam.

Ofe Nsala (White Soup): Ofe nsala is another popular soup in Nigeria, the soup is thickened with pounded yam and also eaten with pounded yam.

Onunu: This is made by pounding boiled yam and boiled plantain together with palm oil.  Serve Onunu with Rivers states Native soup or fresh fish pepper soup

Yam porridge: A one-pot yam recipe. It is ridiculously easy to make and very delicious too. In Nigeria, yam porridge is also called Asaro (food) or yam pottage.

asaro food. it is also known as yam porridge.

Yam in soups: swap potatoes for yam in soups. Add yam cubes to this carrot leek soup to make it filling and hearty. Alternatively, yam can be added to catfish pepper soup or any other type of Nigerian pepper soup. Ditch the bread and eat some yam.

Thick and creamy healthy carrot leek soup served in separate two white bowls and garnished with fresh thyme. Ready to be eaten with a crusty bread roll on the side.

Tips for cooking yam

  • Eat boiled yam the same day and warm. Do not keep it in the fridge as it drys out.
  • Store peeled and washed yam slices in the freezer for up to 3 months
  • store unpeeled yam tuber in a cool place for up to 7 days, keep longer if it is dry yam.
  • Yam is seasonal and they can be a bit dry if it’s not in season. In a case like this, soak it in water overnight before boiling.
4 slices of boiled yam in a plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

How to Cook Yam

Boiled yam is an easy yam recipe, a blank canvass that can eaten with anything. Boiled yam can be eaten as breakfast with egg sauce, fried stew, garden egg stew or egg stew.
You can also use boiled yam to make pounded yam and yam porridge. Pounded yam is eaten with Nigerian soups like Egusi soup, efo riro and other Nigerian vegetable soup. The following how-to instructions would guide you to cooking boiled yam perfectly.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
0 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, Nigerian
Keyword: boiled yam, Fried yam, how to cook yam, yam recipe
Author: Ajoke
Cost: £4

Equipment

  • Knife and Saucepan

Ingredients

  • 1 tuber of puna white Yam about 1.5kg
  • Salt start with about about 2 tsp (optional)
  • Water

Instructions

  • Cut yam tuber into 1-inch sizes
  • Peel the sliced yam, depending on the circumference of the yam, you may want to cut into half for easier cooking. It fits better when placed in a saucepan that way.
  • Rinse yam clean and place in a large saucepan
  • Add enough water to cover the yam and add salt
  • Place on medium heat and cook till yam is soft. Yam is cooked if a fork goes through it easily.
  • Drain the yam (do this to avoid soggy yam) and serve immediately with other side of choice.

Notes

  • Eat boiled yam the same day and warm. Do not keep it in the fridge as it drys out.
  • Store peeled and washed yam slices in the freezer for up to 3 months
  • store unpeeled yam tuber in a cool place for up to 7 days, keep longer if it is dry yam.
  • Yam is seasonal and they can be a bit dry if it's not in season. In a case like this, soak it in water overnight before boiling.
  • Don't add salt to the yam if you would be serving it as pounded yam. 

boiled yam and fish stew.

 

One Comment


  1. These are evergreen classic yam recipes. I would be trying this.

     

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