As the colder months approach, our stomachs tend to appreciate more comforting foods that exhibit robust, earthy flavors. Sweet potatoes are in season in October in both America and in Japan, but in Asian countries, enoki mushrooms are also in season.
Many of the fresh and vibrant dishes in Japan during the month of October will feature the above two ingredients. Sweet potatoes in America are, of course, a staple of many fall and winter meals, especially during the holiday season. The Japanese sweet potato differs slightly from the American variety, but is no less tasty. It possesses a subtle floral flavor with hints of caramel and chestnut, and you can use it in a multitude of ways, just like in America.
Enoki mushrooms are ideally used in soups in Japan. Featuring long stalks and small caps, they are also enjoyed as a snack, or in salads and many other dishes.
Tips for Choosing the Best Japanese Sweet Potatoes in Season
Avoid the largest sweet potatoes, as they tend to be starchier and not as flavorful. Smaller to medium-sized sweet potatoes with skin that is firm and smooth with an even purple tone are ideal. (Japanese sweet potatoes have a purplish skin color). Avoid any that have a large amount of dents or scratches in the skin. Thick, fat sweet potatoes will be smooth and creamy when cooked.
In addition to being delicious and a very versatile vegetable, sweet potatoes are especially nutritious as well. Some of the major health benefits of sweet potatoes include a high vitamin and mineral content (B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium), and the ability to help reduce the risk of cancer, improve eyesight, and relieve stress (when consumed on a regular basis).
Honey Butter Japanese Sweet Potato
This recipe stars the Japanese sweet potato, with enhanced umami due to the addition of honey, butter, soy sauce, and black sesame seeds. It’s a simple, easy recipe that boasts lots of flavor.