Summers in Okinawa are typhoons and more typhoons. We watch the radars wondering if they will turn our way. A couple of typhoons ago we lost power and our grill was ruined. Summers are made for grilling and I’ve been missing ours. These beni imo crisps would be the perfect side for something off the grill.
When we moved to Okinawa, I kept hearing things about beni imo. Beni imo is a purple sweet potato or yam, grown here in Okinawa. There are other purple yam varieties or even sweet potatoes that can easily be substituted if you can’t find beni imo. Beni imo have a sweet flavor that is complemented by more savory herbs and cheese. Mostly though, I just love the gorgeous purple color of beni imo.
These beni imo are up there with dragon fruit panna cotta and summer blueberry borscht when it comes to pretty colored foods. Coating them with cornstarch is essential to getting that perfect crisp outside. Just be sure to not cut them too thin, try to get them right around a quarter inch or they can burn. Be sure to watch them carefully in the oven toward the end and err on the side of less done more than overdone.
I tried barbeque sauce and almond butter sauces (they were good don’t get me wrong) but the lemony, tahini dipping sauce I settled on adds a bit of sweet tang and was my favorite.
- 4 medium beni imo potatoes, cut into ¼ inch rounds
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a sealed plastic bag, toss potato slices with corn starch. Place potatoes in large bowl and toss with olive oil.
- Add rosemary, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Place on baking sheet in single layer.
- Roast 50 minutes, flipping potatoes at 25 minutes.
- Whisk all ingredients together for dipping sauce, serve warm.