Beni imo may be my most favorite thing about living on Okinawa. Seriously, I love this ‘tater! It’s like a sweet potato, but has lovely vanilla notes. AND IT’S PURPLE! It’s really exciting to cut into one of these beauties. The color is just so intense and somehow unexpected every time.
Last thanksgiving, I turned these into a sweet potato soufflé, which is tradition in my family. I also got a little daring and made a side dish with beni imo, Okinawan brown sugar and pineapple bits. I’ve made a Thai-inspired beni imo soup. You can use it anyway that you would use a sweet potato. They occasionally find their way into a curry, but I really like to let the color shine alone, like in this recipe.
About 12 small beni imo potatoes, ends trimmed and cut into smaller chunks
½ cup coconut milk (or a tad more depending on your beni imo sizes)
¼ cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract
Steam the beni imo for about 20 minutes or until a fork pierces easily. Mash the beni imo (I leave the skin on for extra nutrients), add the water, coconut milk and vanilla. Mash until well blended and serve.
This is wonderful for vatas and pittas
Kaphas should swap the coconut milk for almond milk and only have a small amount