sesame oil and shoyu flavored sweet potato

by Heguiberto on February 24, 2011

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This is my attempt at a very simple side dish I enjoyed many times at a small Korean restaurant in Palo Alto. Tofu House is a tiny chain in Santa Clara County. Chain or no, I really love their food. When I worked in PA, I’d often go there for a special lunch-upgrade. I have to thank my great friend Euriele for introducing this restaurant to me.

sesame oil and shoyu flavored sweet potato

sesame oil and shoyu flavored sweet potato

I work in San Francisco now so don’t get there much any more. Too bad for my stomach, though the car is a lot happier. These days, anytime we visit Palo Alto I try to eat there. My favorite dish is the spicy soft tofu soup flavored with kimichi. They deliver it piping hot in a stone pot. It is thrilling and dangerous. You have to let it cool for a while or you’ll burn your mouth and lips. (That’s happened to me more than once.)

Like a lot of Korean places, they serve kimchi and a myriad other small dishes both before and during the main course, all with endless refills. Tofu House is pretty creative so there’s lots to choose from: Napa cabbage kimichi, scallion and seafood pancakes, pickled cucumber, pickled radish, rice cooked with beans and, of course, the sweet potato dish.

Lately I have been reminiscing about Tofu House and the sweet potato side dish in particular. I think I got the recipe “right” based on my taste buds. I served this at a small dinner party. Everyone went back for seconds. The secret is the smoky flavors that the sesame oil and shoyu add to the potatoes.

sesame oil and shoyu flavored sweet potato

1½ lbs yellow or white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium size cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup water
pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp shoyu (soy sauce)

Add olive oil, garlic and sweet potatoes to a pan and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add water, salt, black pepper, cover and cook on high temperature until potatoes are cooked through: sort of holding their shape but nearly dissolving. Add a bit more water if not fully cooked. Remove from heat. Fold in sesame oil and shoyu. Add more shoyu or salt if needed. Delicious!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Su February 24, 2011 at 3:27 am

Oh, I just love sweet potatos and this recipe looks wonderfull and delicious…

oum mouncifrayan February 24, 2011 at 5:09 am

excellente façon de cuisiner les patates douces! bravo

Sharon @ Fun and Life February 24, 2011 at 6:02 am

I love sweet potatoes! But I’ve never heard of white or yellow ones. The only ones I’ve had are orange. This looks delicious! Sesame oil is fabulous I love it in everything.

Heguiberto February 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Sharon they come in many colors in the side of the planet 🙂
They are all delicious but my favorite are the white in this recipe (sweeter) and the purple ones, I think that’s because they were widely available in Brazil where I grew up. Check out some of the varieties here

tigerfish February 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I am recently crazy about sweet potatoes! Maybe I can try this!

Tofu House? I need to try this restaurant too. Usually we go to SGD Tofu House at Santa Calra for our Korean food fix as we love the Soon Dubu over there. Too good!

tasteofbeirut February 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I adore sweet potatoes; I decided this year to familiarize myself with Asian cuisines and this dish looks like a perfect introduction!

rita tower February 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I am going to try this with the regular white potatoes I have available.
Thanks for the inspiration…you make me smile!

Heguiberto February 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm

tigerfish: I am going to check these places out. We adore soon dubus the more gochujang and dubu added to it the merrier
joumana: I bet you will like it. Great new way of enjoyed sweet potatoes
rita: let us know how it turned out

OysterCulture March 8, 2011 at 5:52 am

I love tofu house, and I agree that this side is delicious! Thanks for being inspired to develop the recipe.

Heguiberto March 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I have to go back there soon!
Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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