Since it’s an important ingredient in last week’s Red Pea Soup recipe, I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to pick and peel Yellow Yams. The best yellow yam is dry and powdery whether you boil it or roast it. Just think of the best baked potato you’ve ever had. (By the way, in Jamaica we call potatoes, Irish, make sense?) If you don’t pick a good piece of yam, it will have a heavy, dense texture and could also be a bit bitter.
Some people are stars at picking a good yam. I use the tip that my husband, Eddie, passed down to me from his family: look for the ones with hairs (baby roots) on them. I also recommend choosing a middle piece cut from a larger yam.
Now, the main trick to peeling a yam is to make sure not to get the yam juice on your hands because it will make your skin itch … a lot. Resist the urge to wash the yam as your peeling it, too. You’ll just get the juice all over your hands! I use a kitchen towel to hold the yam.
These are my tricks and they’ve served me well. Now I’m passing them on to you! Watch my video to see how easy it is to pick and peel a Jamaican yellow yam!