This is one of my favorite tubers. At an Asian market, it’ll be labeled either yama-imo
(mountain yam) or naga-imo
(long yam). I like its funky multiple personality. Read its wiki at your own risk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagaimo
A macro of its skin and cross-section.
When peeled, soaked in slightly acidic water for a minute, then grated, it becomes slimier than the nose snot of a 4-yr old with a winter cold. It’s called tororo
, a sort of onomatopoeia for “thick drip-drip.” It can be used as a thickener, or to moisturize something somewhat dry.
One way I like it is ochazuke
(tea add). Traditionally, a pour of tea to clean and finish off what’s left in a bowl of rice, including bits from a meal. More often, a simple light leftover lunch to fuel the afternoon. Top with tororo, wasabi and scallions.
Grated yama-imo is also one of the ingredients of “Japanese pizza,” a moist savory pancake, almost as common as yakitori joints and McDonald’s. Cooked, mountain yam has the taste and texture of airy, very crisp red potatoes.
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