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How to cook / Prepare Yams

Yam when cooked is a simple tasty meal which is usually eaten with Stews, Soups, or even sauces. It's rich in carbohydrate and dietary fiber. There are various ways in which it could be prepared - Here in Nigeria, it's usually Boiled, Fried, Roasted & Pounded (For "Swallow"). Which ever way it's being prepared, it's sure to make a tasty energy rich meal.

How to Boil yams
• White Yam Tuber-As much as you can eat
• Water
• Salt to taste

Step 1:Slice the yam tuber into about 8 round pieces. Peel the brown skin off. (You can save the peeled skin for the preparation of amala flour). Place the peeled yam in a medium sized bowl and wash with clean water

Step 2: Put the washed yam in a pot add some salt. Cook for about 25mins till soft (you can check this by in inserting a fork within. If it goes in easily, then it’s done.)

Step 3: Drain out the excess water and serve with your favorite Soup, Stew or Sauce. 

How to Prepare Fried Yam
• White Yam Tuber- As much as you want
• Salt to taste
• Vegetable oil

Step 1: Slice and peel the yam as shown in step 1 above but cut the sliced yam into smaller portions.

Step 2: Sprinkle some salt over the yam and toss to ensure the salt gets to every part

Step 3: Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently deep fry the yam till it turns slightly golden brown in batches

Step 4: Remove the yam chips and place on a paper towel to drain out most of the oil
Serve with your favorite Soup, Stew, Sauce, Pap, Oatmeal, Custard or whatever you can think of.  

How to prepare Roasted Yam
• White Yam TuberAs much as you want
• Salt
For this you'd need Either an oven or a pit grill (The type that uses charcoal)

Step 1: Slice the yam tuber into thick round circles as shown in step 1 above but do not peel the skin. This gives a distinct flavor to it while preventing the sides from burning.

Step 2: Wash the sliced yam pieces thoroughly and place on a rack to drain. Sprinkle some salt over the yam slices

Step 3: Place the yam slices on the oven rack in a pre-heated oven and set to grill at about 160°C till the top side turns slightly brown. Flip over and leave the underside to roast till it turns brown all over. Your yam slices are done when the outer part is crunchy and the inner part has a soft moist feel.

Step 4:
Leave to cool a little and peel the skin with a sharp Knife.

Serve with your favorite Palmoil Sauce or Ukpaka sauce.

Kitchen Notes:
• The Yam head is usually re-planted to grow new yam & the skin is dried for the preparation of Amala flour. 

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  1. Hi Dobby I came across ur blog 2day tru google n I must confess I'm really impressed.learnt so much already.pls keep up d good work.

  2. Thanks for posting, my favourite food blogger. I love yam especially with palm oil

  3. Can I just say, for someone who is not used to yams or West African cooking, this is one of the most helpful post EVER! You have no idea bc I don't know what to do with yams. How do you pick "ripe" yams?

    1. Thanks Adhis. Yam doesn't ripen it only matures. When it isn't mature it looks kinda whitish with soft skin but when it's mature for eating, it has a dark brown look like the one above with a hard skin.

  4. are yams supposed to be bitter? if not what am i doing wrong?

    1. Yams are not supposed to be bitter infact, when you cook old yam it usually has a slightly sugary taste. The only part of the yam that sometimes ends up being bitter is the head. This part is usually discarded or planted.

    2. Just make sure you peel it and cut off all the brown looking spots when you cook it. The brown parts are what tastes bitter and once removed you should taste a starchy and slightly sweet yam. It's normal to have bitter spots when you're new to it and don't know how to select the best yams and how to tell which are ripe, too old, etc.

  5. Aw nooo... I just cooked my yam head... next time...

    1. it's still alright! Might be tasteless and hard though ;)

  6. When I boiled my yam it turned black :-(

    1. Hi terrie, there are certain species of yam that turn black once it's new yam (just harvested yam). It's got something to do with exposure to air just the way apples turn brown once exposed to air. The older the yam gets (When it's stored in a yam barn for a long time), the less likely it is to turn black and the sweeter it gets (carbohydrate turning into sugar).

  7. How much salt exactly are we meant to add, tea/tablespoon?


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