The term “yam” is something of a misnomer; in America it actually refers to an orange-fleshed, moist sweet potato, whereas the rest of the world knows yams as enormous tubers that measure several feet long, can weigh over a hundred pounds, and have a firmer, drier, white flesh. The garnet yams in this recipe are sweet potatoes with distinctive purplish-red exterior skins.
Nama shoyu is a type of unpasteurized soy sauce that is naturally aged for several years in cedar kegs, giving it a much more full-bodied flavor and complex bouquet than regular soy sauce. It can be found in natural foods stores and through online retailers.
Mother Africa’s Spicy Kale and Yam
- 1 large bunch kale thickest stems removed (about 4 cups chopped, firmly pressed)
- 1½ pounds garnet yams, peeled, well-rinsed and chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cups chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon seeded and diced serrano chile
- 2 cups sliced purple cabbage
- 3 tablespoons nama shoyu soy sauce (or use regular soy sauce)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Abba’s African Hot Sauce see recipe on this site
- Rinse and drain the kale well. Steam the kale until it is soft but still colorful, about 5 minutes. Steam the yams until cooked through (they should retain some firmness).
- While the kale and yams are steaming, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and serrano chile. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the cabbage and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. (Add small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking.)
- Place the cabbage in a large bowl with the soy sauce and salt; add the kale and mix well. Add the yams and gently mix. Serve with Abba’s African Hot Sauce (recipe elsewhere on this site).