These mashed purple yams with sesame brown butter make an extra tasty, pretty, and healthy alternative to regular sweet potatoes. You will love them!Mashed Purple Yams with Sesame Brown Butter

 Eating mashed purple yams is like having dessert for dinner. It's the best. 

Have you guys heard of, bought or cooked with Japanese purple yams before? If you haven't, you may have seen them, looking rather yam-like, next to the rest of the potato-y things. They look a lot like regular yams, only they're a little skinnier and, obviously, purple. I've been walking by them for years.

It was a Facebook message I got from my friend Sally that said I need to stop ignoring these pretty purple yams that finally made me give them some attention. I've been experimenting with them for a while now, and this is one of my favourite recipes.

It's simple and lets the purple yams shine.

Purple yams are a lot sweeter than regular yams and the nutty brown butter and sesame oil turn them into that perfect sweet/savoury combo.

Serve this in place of sweet potatoes or even mashed potatoes. I think this would be a great side dish for Easter or Thanksgiving dinner.

Mashed Purple Yams with Sesame Brown Butter

When you're buying purple yams, you'll want to look for the same characteristics as regular yams: firm, mostly unmarked skin with no soft spots.

Just like with a regular yam the skin is edible, but the best part is the flesh.

Aside from being extra sweet and delicious, purple yams are also extra healthy for you. They're packed full of anthocyanin (a natural anti-inflammatory), are a great source of vitamin A and potassium and are high in fibre and low in fat and carbs. Go on, eat 'em up!

Mashed Purple Yams with Sesame Brown Butter

Mashed Purple Yams with Sesame Brown Butter

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Mashed Purple Yams with Sesame Brown Butter

  • Author: Kristen Stevens | The Endless Meal
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


These mashed purple yams with sesame brown butter make an extra tasty, pretty, and healthy alternative to regular sweet potatoes. You will love them!



  • 1.5 lb. Asian purple yams
  • 2 tablespoons butter (See notes if you want to make this a vegan recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (or a mix of toasted and black sesame seeds)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place the yams on the prepared baking sheet – do not pierce their skins! – and bake them for 30-45 minutes, or until they can easily be pierced with a knife. (They can vary in size quite a bit and the larger ones will take longer to cook.) Remove them from the oven and, when they are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scrape out the flesh. Discard the skins.
  3. While the yams are roasting, make the brown butter. Put the butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. The butter will first melt, then become very frothy and finally it will start to brown. Once the froth begins to die down a little keep a close eye on it and start to stir the butter so you can see exactly what is going on. You want lots of dark brown bits in the butter. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Once the butter is very brown remove it from the heat and pour it into a small bowl to stop the cooking. Stir in the sesame oil.
  4. Mash the yams with a fork and add all but one teaspoon of the brown butter/sesame oil. Add the rice vinegar to the yams and stir till everything is well combined. Season to taste with sea salt.
  5. Serve the yams with the remaining brown butter drizzled overtop and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
  6. Yum!


You can substitute Earth Balance for the butter in this recipe. Of course it does not taste exactly like butter, nor does it brown quite the same, but if you eat a plant-based diet, then it does make a very good substitute in this recipe.