Purple Yams Aren’t Weird, Are They?

Earlier this week, I was minding my own business and munching on a purple yam (skin intact, baked in the oven – just the way I like it) when my co-worker asked me, “What’s that purple thing?” I looked down at the purple yam I was snacking on, and it suddenly dawned on me that purple yams are like gold kiwifruits. Not everybody knows that they exist.

Now it is time for me to interrupt your usual morning program with (what I like to call) Friday Fun Fact Time. Purple yams are available. You can buy them in Asian markets. More specifically, you can find them at the H Mart in Carrollton where I do all my purple yam shopping.

I find them much sweeter than the regular sweet potatoes you find at grocery stores. The flesh melts into a gooey, sticky consistency after you wash the skin thoroughly, pop them into the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and leave them in there for a good 40 to 60 minutes. Don’t forget to line your baking pan with aluminum foil so they don’t stick, either.


  • Amy S

    No oil? Salt? Nada?

  • Beda

    Yams and sweet potatoes are not related. “The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato.”

  • Sounds and looks delish to me! Not to mention they are nutritional powerhouses.

  • Senor


    It’s a government conspiracy!


    “Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term ‘yam’ to be accompanied by the term ‘sweet potato.’ Unless you specifically search for yams, which are usually found in an international market, you are probably eating sweet potatoes!”

  • Beda

    Senor, maybe so, but a food writer should know that yams and sweet potatoes aren’t the same.

  • @Amy. Nope. Don’t need anything for these babies to taste good!
    @Beda. I do know they are not the same. I chose to compare them to regular sweet potatoes because I felt like it.

  • bluebird

    i’m pretty sure Tei An has/had them on the menu as a side dish – with a sprinkling of salt. excellent, as usual. your description of the texture is right on

  • KCho

    I LOVE PURPLE YAMS!!! But Carol, don’t let other people know; the price will go up as the demand increases 🙁
    Let’s keep this a secret 😉