Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WHAT are these?

I bought them last week at the market under the freeway in Stockton. The man said camotes. I recognized the word, said yeah yeah and forgot about them. But no, these are not Ipomoea batatas (sweet potatoes). Nor are they Jerusalem artichokes or crosnes. Nor oca. Though they are similar to all these. Finger sized. Starchy and sticky and very crunchy raw. Cooked reminiscent of a potato. I still have NO idea what they are. Any ideas?


Dioscorea opposita, aka Chinese yam. a cousin of the true yam. Grated raw is wicked slimy and would indeed make a good sex lubricant. Fried in oil it makes one of the best latkes I've ever eaten. See. It's the base for okonomiyaki! Thanks to my old pal Brian and his wife! You win a recipe for okonomiyaki. Grate these like for latkes, mix in shredded cabbage, scallions, ginger, crushed peanuts and salt. Then fry like a big pancake. If you're not vegan add egg and raw shrimp finely chopped.




6 comments:

Ken Albala said...

Got to love facebook. Brian tells me it's Dioscorea apposita. Definitely.

Laura@silkroadgourmet said...

Agree completely with the idntification. Soak in vinegar and water before using to dissolve the oxalate crystals in the skin.

Ken Albala said...

THANKS! I wondered what the crunchy stuff was when I first bit into it raw! oops.

Anonymous said...

I loved this -- many years ago we hosted a Japanese foreign student. The organization that sponsored her invited us to a Christmas party (none of us are Christian, never mind) where we were supposed to bring a dish native to her culture. We didn't have time and she didn't really know how to cook. So we made OUR seasonal dish, latkes. And she renamed them -- okanomilatkes. Don't know if anyone even guessed!

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