Yellow Yam Fries

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These delicious Yellow Yam Fries are such an innovative way to use a popular Jamaican ingredient eaten for generations for nutrition and vitality. Customize the seasonings to your favorites to make it your own!

Yellow Yam Fries

Yellow Yam Fries

Potatoes are amazing, but I also love to make other types of fries out of any and everything. Yellow yam is an old favorite of mine that I eat a lot, as it is popular in Jamaican cuisine, and I have found out that it makes some delicious fries.

These yellow yam fries are a perfect side to a variety of dishes. If you’re looking for more creative veggie fry ideas, look at my Jamaican Jerk Butternut Squash Fries, Baked Zucchini Fries, Turnip Fries, and Jicama Fries!

yellow yam on cutting board

What Is Jamaican Yellow Yam?

Yellow yam, also known as Jamaican yam or Guinea yam, is a tropical root vegetable that originated in Africa and spread to the Caribbean by way of the slaves.

It is a part of “ground provisions”, which is usually a pot of various boiled root vegetables and flour dumplings that is traditionally eaten with Jamaican meals.

They were nutritious and hearty, perfect to be energized to work hard in the fields while being cheap and easy to grow. Yellow yams are even boiled on their own, and the Jamaican yams or the ground provision mixture is eaten with curries, stews, etc. They are also added to most Jamaican soups to make them more filling.

What is normally known as yams in the US is really sweet potatoes, which is actually a separate plant. Yellow yams are a proper member of the yam family, which tastes similar to potatoes while being a bit starchier.

This makes the Jamaican yam better to accompany savory and spicy dishes since the flavor is more neutral.

Yellow yam’s nutrition makes it a great side for any meal. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it an easy and cheap way to acquire these vital nutrients that you may not be able to otherwise.

One of my favorite components is copper, which is vital for red blood cell production and iron absorption.

Yellow Yam VS White Yam

I usually cook both yellow yam and white yam in my home, but when it comes to making yam fries, yellow yam is the best for making yam fries is it retains its shape easier when it is cooked. Some white yams, like St. Vincent, Sweet Yam, Renta, and Negro varieties tend to be mushy the longer they cook. 

Ingredients For Yellow Yam Fries

  • Yellow Yam
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ground Paprika
  • Salt

How To Make Yam Fries?

  • Preheat oven to 400 ℉. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Wash and peel the brown skin off of the yellow yam using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.
  • Cut yellow yam into the size you like; I do about 1/2 inch strips.

yam cut into match sticks for fries, soaking in lemon water

  • Bring water to boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add yellow yam strips, and cook for about 10 minutes.

boiling yellow yam for yellow yam fries

  • Remove from heat and drain the yam. Pat dry with a clean towel.

yellow yam drained in colander after boiling

  • Place them into a bowl, and toss with olive oil to coat. Combine garlic, paprika, and salt, in a small bowl, then cover yam with the mixture.

seasoned yellow yam fries in a white bowl

  • Place on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on the edges, turning halfway.

seasoned yellow yam fries on baking sheet

  • For best texture, serve immediately.

Other Yellow Yam Recipes

Since yellow yam is a Jamaican staple, of course, I have other recipes involving this delicious ingredient! Check out these recipes containing Jamaican yam below.

For the Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding, the recipe only calls for Jamaican sweet potato, however, in the notes I do mention that a mixture or substitution with yellow yam is acceptable, and honestly quite common.

What To Eat Yams With?

A common choice is with curries, so here are a few of my favorites.

Photo of me holding a basket of jamaican produce including yellow yam

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 49 kcal / 205 kJ
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 5 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 50 min
  • Ready in: 1 h
For: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 ℉. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Wash and peel the brown skin off of the yellow yam using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.
  3. Cut yellow yam into the size you like; I do about 1/2 inch strips.
  4. Bring water to boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add yellow yam strips, and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and drain the yam. Pat dry with a clean towel.
  6. Place them into a bowl, and toss with olive oil to coat. Combine garlic, paprika, and salt, in a small bowl, then cover yam with mixture.
  7. Place on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on the edges, turning halfway.
  8. For best texture, serve immediately.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Dev Marie

Hi there, I’m Dev, a Jersey girl now residing in Florida, and a first generation Jamaican immigrant. As a passionate foodie adventurist, I love to create comfort dishes using exotic ingredients from all over the world.

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4 Comments
  1. O'neil Lewis
    November 19, 2020

    How do you treat the bitterness of the yellow yam?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      November 20, 2020

      O’neil, it really depends on the yellow yam. Not all of the varieties are bitter, try to get fresh yellow yam that has a light yellow color, I find they have a sweeter taste. The older ones or the darker yellow ones tend to be a little bitter. Addin jerk seasoning to your fries and other stronger flavors will disguise the bitter taste.

  2. Correnthia
    November 9, 2020

    Looks delicious &very healthy too. Will try some of them!