Tag Archives: yam

Simply yammy

20 Jan

I have just finished watching seven episodes of Discovery Channel’s mythbusters back to back. It’s a helluva lot of fun (watch it, you won’t regret it) and it got me excited about busting a myth I’ve held true for the longest time: are Yams fattening?

First of all, let me just clarify something that has been annoying me no end. Yams are not sweet potatoes, regardless of what the Americans say. When they cook yams at Thanksgiving, most likely they’re talking about sweet potatoes. Candied yams? Yup, sweet potatoes. Yam wedges? Once again, sweet potatoes.

Thankfully, I realised this difference before I actually attempted to candy a taro yam (I shudder to think of having to swallow that disaster) but just in case anyone else isn’t so lucky, I thought I would clarify.

OK. Back to the mythbusting. I have always approached yams with caution cos I assumed that because yams were so starchy, the were highly fattening. So, though I love em, I eat them sparingly.

But recently, I’ve been having multiple chance encounters with yams. Not only do they seem to be coming at me at the markets, quite a few friends and family have served me yams in the past couple of months. Now, I believe that the universe sends us signs of things to come (hello, I am so NOT loony) and I figured these had to be more than happy coincidences.

I decided to look up the nutrition value of yams on the Internet. Why I never did this before, I don’t even know. Well, like I said: timing and universal direction.

What I found is that yams, in fact, are pretty healthy food. Check this out:http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-taro-i11519.
Well, it definitaly doesn’t quite come close to watching cuties Grant Imahara, Kari Byron and Torrie Belleci busting myths but I’m pretty pleased that this here  myth about yams  is now “Busted”.

And so what did I do? I bought myself some yams and made some yam balls. The easiest thing to make: Steam yam, mash (leaving some small chunks) and add carrots (chopped very very small) and spring onions (also chopped very very small) and season with salt and pepper and some cardamom. I also added some vegetarian dried shrimp (?!!? – you can buy this at vegetarian produce stores) for good measure.

Shape the mixture into balls (size:  golf ball) and shallow fry or bake. If you are baking, add a dribble of oil in the mix when shaping.

Yummmmmmmmmm.

With this ring …

31 Dec

Yam Ring

I had this craving for Yam all of a sudden and so I decided to make my all time favourite yam dish, the Yam Ring or Fatt Put (in Cantonese). There was a time wuite some time ago when I was so crazy about the Yam Ring,  I’d have it almost once a week. At the time though, I didn’t bother trying to make it myself; I just ordered it from the Chinese Vegetarian Shop in my neighbourhood: it’d usually last a couple of days.

In case you don’t know, a Yam Ring is  a deep fried ring of yam (steamed, mashed and formed into a ring first) on a bed of fried vermicelli noodles and filled with a stir-fry of vegetables with gravy.

I soon discovered (by way of clothes that don’t fit) that eating all that fried Yam probably wasn’t the best thing for my diet. Actually, Yam in itself is low in saturated fats and has a high content of, among other things, dietary fibre and pottasium. But deep frying could make even a vitamin pill unhealthy!

So though I craved the Yam Ring, I decided on baking it and not frying it. I realised of course that deep frying lent the Fatt put some of its taste; baking it may make the yam a tad dry. But  I was sure that a baked ring could with the right amount of moisture could  be as delicious.

The result? Delicious.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said the baked ring tasted the same as the fried one: kinda like how deep fried french fries taste different from baked ones. Still tasty but grease-less (that’s where the flavour lies, right?).  But, it’s also guilt-less and I’d rather enjoy my baked Yam with no guilt than run an extra hour in the gym tomorrow. Uggggh.

Anyway, after steaming the yam, mash it and add seasoning: five spice powder, salt and pepper and about 1 tbsp oil.  Refrigerate for about 30 mins at least. Shape into ring. Bake till golden-ish.

For the filling, I chopped red peppers, carrots, asparagus, mushrooms, tofu, vegetarian ham and chestnuts and added some roasted but not salted cashews, cooked in  a sauce  of vege oyster sauce and vege stock. Make sure you have enough sauce so that can soak into the base of the ring.

Lay ring on a bed of fried vermicelli, spoon filling into ring and ard if you want. I find the filling in the ring is sometimes insufficient and you can end up with more yam and not enough filling.

You won’t need another side dish with the Yam Ring as its loaded with veges already.