Cooking Local: Mashed Beni Imo

CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GILLOTTI

Cooking Local: Mashed Beni Imo l Okinawa Hai!

Beni imo (紅いも) 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. It’s really exciting to cut into one of these beauties. The color is just so intense and somehow unexpected every time.

Cooking Local: Mashed Beni Imo l Okinawa Hai!

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. This is a quick and easy recipe for the lucky people that live here, and maybe haven’t tried it yet.

Cooking Local: Mashed Beni Imo l Okinawa Hai!The recipe:

  • About 12 small beni imo potatoes, ends trimmed and cut into smaller chunks
  • ½ cup coconut milk (or more, if necessary)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp homemade vanilla extract (http://naturallydiy.com/2013/07/14/homemade-vanilla-extract-or-vanilla-infused-bourbon/)


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 homemade vanilla extract. Mash until well blended and serve. Feel free to add some Okinawan brown sugar or honey if you prefer a sweeter taste.

Cooking Local: Mashed Beni Imo l Okinawa Hai!


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