Last weekend I was strolling the aisles of my favorite Korean Market in New Jersey and they were giving out samples. As a fan of free food, I shuffled my way over to the table and there sat these cut up white pieces in a brown sauce. Not knowing what it was, I obviously ate it and then asked “What is that?” The woman tells me it is Nagaimo. This didn’t help me much, but it tasted good, so of course I threw it in my basket with the sauce they used on it and checked out. I made it at my apartment tonight and this is my story.
I forgot to describe what it looks like, but I’ll do you one better.
It’s a giant hairy potato. These actually come over a foot long, but for selling purposes they cut them in smaller pieces.
You have to peel it with a vegetable peeler and the weirdest thing happens. The vegetable under the skin is slippery. Like if you were to put lube all over a peeled potato. I don’t want anyone getting over excited so I will stop there.
If you can actually get a grasp on the slippery little sucker, you cut it up into bite size pieces and pour ponzu sauce over it. The supermarket was using this brand and I definitely have had it before at restaurants and really like the flavor.
And here is the final product:
And I gotta tell you, I just didn’t like it. I may even dislike it more than oatmeal. When I first tasted it in the store, it reminded me of Jicama. Crunchy, refreshing, light, but with the Nagaimo I could not get past the texture. And I am a huge fan of weird textures – don’t even get me started on how Oysters feel like human tongues. The Nagaimo actually turns the ponzu sauce into a sticky goo. I had a few bites and ended up throwing it out. I felt wasteful, but shit happens.
Of course after I ate it and didn’t like it, I decided to use the world wide web to look up what it is and a lot of my questions were answered. Let me shed some light.
Nagaimo is a type of Japanese yam that is low in calories, high in protein and full of nutrients. (Explains why I threw it out.) When you cut it, it should be white and moist. (They say moist but they mean lubed.) When handling Nagaimo, some people may experience itching due to an allergic reaction. (HOLY SHIT this explains the rash I got while preparing it but I thought it was unrelated.) Whole Nagaimo should be wrapped in newspaper and stored in a cool dark place in order to remain fresh longer. (Like a bat…wrapped in newspaper.)