While its trademark gooey texture may not win Nagaimo (Chinese Yam) many fans around the world, in Japan it is an essential part of both home and restaurant cooking.
And it’s super healthy too — in fact, the very component that gives that gooeyness also happens to be great for the body.
What’s more, with the right cooking techniques, you’ll be able to bring out the wonderfully deep flavor of this wholesome root veg.
Fights fatigue and burns fat!
Nagaimo is packed full of nutrition. It contains a good balance of minerals and vitamins like vitamins B and C, as well as metabolism boosting mucin and plenty of enzymes like amylase which help protect the mucus membrane inside the mouth, support nutrient uptake, relieve fatigue and burn fat.
In Japan, nagaimo has long been used to help beat the exhaustion brought on by the summer heat.
How do you eat it?
One way to enjoy nagaimo is to grate it down to make a kind of raw yam soup. Called “tororo” in Japanese, the smooth gooey texture makes it a good choice for anyone who has lost their appetite or can’t chew.
In Japan we like to serve tororo over rice or spooned over raw tuna with a drizzle of soy sauce. A word of warning: nagaimo is an allergen, so always be vigilant when trying it for the first time.