Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Candied Yams – So Good You’ll Forget You’re Eating Sweet Potatoes

While it’s true the “yams” used in this gorgeous candied yams recipe are really just orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, it’s also true that no one cares, “yams” sounds better, and takes less characters to share on Twitter. Like I said in the video, I only mentioned it in case “that guy” is at your Thanksgiving.

I’m not a huge sweet side dish person, but I do make an exception for these candied yams, since it’s, well, exceptional. Part of that, I believe, is using lemon instead of orange juice, since we have plenty of sweetness, and what we really need is some tartness for balance.

Speaking of sweetness, I like to use a Grade B maple syrup, since it seems to have a little deeper maple flavor; or at least that’s what Alton Brown said once, and I believed him. Having said that, any real maple syrup will be just fine.

This will be our last video before the Thanksgiving holiday, and I’ll be taking the next few days off, so just a heads-up that I won’t be around to answer questions on the blog. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Anyway, I want to wish you all a very healthy, and happy holiday, and I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8 portions:
For the yams:
3 pounds yams, peeled, cut in 2-inch pieces,
2 quarts cold water
3 tablespoons kosher salt (or about 5 teaspoons of fine salt)
For the glaze:
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cayenne
salt to taste
chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios for garnish


Dan and Hilary said...

Another Thanksgiving with Chef John. Thanks for the bounty of sides and general awesomeness through out the years.

Happy Thanksgiving pal!

Estoy_Listo said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Chef

(You know they're not yams, right?)

Unknown said...

Chef, what would we replace the butter with for veganization (for unfortunate people that have to make their girlfriends happy, who are vegans)?

Vegetable oil?
Possible at all?

Thanks and happy Hanukkah, I mean turkey day..


Unknown said...

Will these keep in the fridge for a night? also what can I substitute for maple syrup?

Unknown said...

Can these keep well in the fridge for 24 hours? Also I am in Korea, so I dont have access to maple syrup, can I just use more brown sugar?

Alex in Shanghai said...

"That's what the comments are for" :D We love you, Chef John!

Ray said...

Is the ground ginger necessary? What can I substitute for it?

Unknown said...

Will be using this recipe this year! Along with duck instead of turkey! Yay! Thank you for the great recipe! :-D

GPLongwood said...

My mother is having dairy issues lately. Can you recommend a butter substitute ? Could some olive oil or comparable be used?

GPLongwood said...

My mother is having issues with dairy lately. Can i substitute the butter with olive oil or something comparable? Any recommendations?

Unknown said...

These look amazing Chef John, im off to buy some sweet potatoes.....im English, we never call them yams. And i wouldnt call them candied either, id say maple glazed sweet potatoes, but, thats a bit long winded! :-)
Thanks so much for all the great recipes and happy holidays xx

R.M.S. said...

I made these and at the end of dinner everyone said this was their favorite side dish!

R.M.S. said...

This was the side dish hit of thanksgiving. I did not have ginger...so i chopped some of my crystalized ginger and it worked just fine. Best sweet potatoes I've had!

Unknown said...

These turned out great! I prepared them the night before Thanksgiving and put mini marshmallows on top on Thanksgiving Day. I also used your KISS turkey recipe, your pear-ginger-cranberry sauce recipe. I also served the Idahoan mashed potatoes, but didn't tell anyone;)

Unknown said...

This recipe turned out great! I made the "yams" the night before Thanksgiving Day and heated them up with mini marshmallows on top on Thanksgiving Day. Thanks so much for your great recipes. I used four of your recipes yesterday, Thanksgiving. I'm a big fan!

Unknown said...

You know those aren't actually yams, right?

mom of chef said...

I love this recipe! Making tonight as I was worn out on TDay and ordered in from local Bay Area company. But husband bought a bag of "Yams" before TDay so I shall go forth, carry on and make this great dish. Sure to love it. Thank You Chef John

mom of chef said...

Very good and really easy!

Unknown said...

Chef John can you do a video on how to make mexican charro beans

Karen said...

Please give us permission to indulge in these twice a year - Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Cliverton said...

Not a good Thanksgiving Chef. I tried to make your Bourbon glazed carrots and started to shake. Then noticed the new recipe for yams and went into convulsions.

My doctor said I was suffering from "Orange Aversion". Seems to be quite common this month.
Any suggestions?
What color were the potatoes in Canada?

Unknown said...

So I was making this dish for a Christmas potluck, but I accidentally cooked the potatoes too far in the pan, so I transferred them to a casserole dish and proceeded to make this instead. People raved about it and they wanted the recipe. True story. Thank you chef John for giving me the recipe for lemonade when life gave me lemons!

FoodwishesAddict said...

They use sweet potatoes a lot in Peruvian cooking. They boil them in orange crush to improve the color and the flavor. I learned this from an eminent Peruvian Chef. Cheers, Chef John!

Deb said...

Hi John, I love your videos!

In this recipe, I assume you meant juice from 1/2 of a lemon (not a 1/2 cup of lemon juice). I had 1/2 cup of lemon juice ready when I realized that would be way too tangy. I put in about 1/8 cup and it was still overly tangy. Just thought you might want to update your recipe!

Cheers :)