Yam is a universal root vegetable that can use to make a variety of dishes, including soups, stews and side dishes. Then what to do if you don’t have access to yams?
Fortunately, there are many substitutes for Yam that provide the same health benefits and flavor.
From sweet potatoes to taro root, these alternatives offer an easy way to enjoy the classic flavors of yam-based recipes without having to purchase the actual ingredient.
With this guide, you’ll learn about some of the best substitutes for Yam so you can start experimenting with new recipes today!
In short, " What can I use instead of yam?" Sweet potatoes, Parsnips, Squashes & Pumpkins, Plantains, Potatoes, Rutabaga, Carrots & Beets, Jicama, Radish, Celeriac.
What is Yam, and what does Yam taste like?
Yam is a tuberous root vegetable that belongs to the Dioscorea genus. It is generally found in tropical and subtropical regions and is a staple food in many cultures around the world.
The starchy root vegetable is usually white or yellow and can be cooked in various ways. It is a fantastic source of carbohydrates and complex sugars, offering a host of health benefits.
Yams are often mistaken for sweet potatoes, but they are two distinct vegetables.
In terms of taste, yams have a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. The sweetness is milder compared to sweet potatoes, and the earthy undertones give yams a unique taste profile.
Some varieties of Yam can also have a nutty or creamy flavor. The texture of yams is starchy and firm, similar to that of a potato.
Yams are versatile and can be prepared in various ways. They can be boiled, roasted, baked, or fried.
The flavor of yams pairs well with various spices and seasonings, allowing for a wide range of culinary possibilities.
It’s important to note that yams should be cooked thoroughly before consumption, as they can be toxic when eaten raw.
Uses of Yam
Yam is an edible tuber that has been eaten for thousands of years in numerous cultures around the world.
Yams can be roasted, boiled, mashed or grated into dishes such as soups, stews or casseroles. They can also use as an alternative to potatoes in many dishes such as latkes or gratins.
Yam flour is becoming increasingly popular as it is gluten-free and makes a wonderful base for baking recipes like bread or cakes.
Furthermore, yam leaves are edible and commonly used in salads or stir-fries for extra nutrition.
All in all, yams are an incredibly nutritious food that should be included more regularly in our diets!
Where to buy Yam?
If you are looking for Yam where to buy, there are a few other places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores.
You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of Yam.
Best Substitute for Yam
There is a checklist of the ten best substitutes for Yam, along with suggestions for ratio and how to use them:
1. Sweet potatoes – A good substitute for Yam
Sweet potatoes are the closest match to yams in terms of texture and flavor.
Ratio or measurement: They can often be used as a one-to-one substitute in recipes.
For every cup of diced yams, you will need 1 cup of diced sweet potatoes, as their ratio is almost identical.
Sweet potatoes work great, boiled or mashed but can also be baked in pies or casseroles.
2. Parsnips – similar to Yam
Parsnips have a nutty taste and creamy texture similar to that of yams when cooked properly.
Ratio or measurement: To substitute parsnips for yams in recipes like soups or stews, use ¾ cup of chopped parsnips for every cup of diced Yam called for in the recipe.
This works out to about a 3:4 ratio between the two ingredients.
3. Try Squashes & Pumpkins instead of Yam
Winter squashes like butternut squash, and pumpkin are both great substitutes for yams when baking pies or preparing casseroles like Shepherd’s pie.
Simply replace each cup of diced Yam with one cup of cubed squash or pumpkin puree instead.
Ratio or measurement: This works out to having a 1:1 substitution ratio.
4. Plantains – similar to Yam
Plantains have the same starchy consistency as yams when cooked, which makes them an ideal replacement ingredient for any dish calling for boiled or mashed yams.
Ratio or measurement: Use one plantain (chopped into small cubes) per one cup of diced/cubed Yam (1:1 substitution ratio).
5. Potatoes – A great alternative to Yam
While potatoes may not provide the same sweetness as their tropical cousin does.
They make up with it by having just enough starchiness that makes them perfect alternatives to mashed/boiled/baked/fried/roasted yams.
Ratio or measurement: Use 2 cups (diced) potato per 1 cup (diced) Yam (2:1 substitution ratio).
6. Rutabaga – similar to Yam
Rutabagas resemble turnips but are slightly sweeter and much more flavorful than turnips, making them perfect candidates as replacements for roasting/frying/baking/mashing recipes involving.
Ratio or measurement: Yams; use ¾ cups rutabaga per 1 cup Yam (3:4 substitution ratio).
7. Use Carrots & Beets to replace Yam
Ratio or measurement: use ¾ cups chopped carrots per 1 cup Yam (3:4 substitution ratio), while substituting equal parts beetroot also works well too when cooking roasts & steamed dishes, respectively. Similarly, there should also be a 3:4 substitution ratio between both veggies (Beetroot: Yam).
Both carrots and beets provide some sweetness that resembles that found in Yams, making them ideal ingredients when baking pies or preparing casseroles.
8 . Jicama – similar like yam
Jicama has a mild flavor reminiscent of apples & pears, making it a suitable alternative when cooking boiled vegetables like Yams.
Ratio or measurement: use ½ cups jicama per 1 cup Yam (½: 1 substitution ratio).
9 . Radish – A decent replacement for Yam
Radish has some sweetness akin to Yams coupled with some crunchiness comparable to celery, thus making it a suitable alternative when baking pies & cooking casseroles.
Ratio or measurement: use ½ cups Radish per 1 Cup Yam (½: 1 substitution ratio).
10 . Celeriac – similar to Yam
Celeriac provides subtle hints of nuttiness & earthiness, suitable when boiling/roasting / mashing YAMS.
Ratio or measurement: Use equal parts Celeriac instead by following a 1: 1 replacement ratio between both ingredients, i.e., replacing each Cup YAM with an equivalent amount of Celeriac.
a brown sugar substitute for yams
If you are searching for a brown sugar alternate to use for yams, there are several options available.
One option is muscovado sugar, which is a coarse, dark-brown unrefined cane sugar. It has more of a molasses savor than regular brown sugar and can bring out the flavor of yams.
Another option is to mix one part maple syrup with two parts dark brown sugar; this will give you a sweet, rich flavor that will enhance the taste of your yams.
When substituting either muscovado or the maple syrup/brown sugar blend, be sure to reduce the amount by 25%, as these sugars are sweeter than regular brown sugar.
Another great alternative is date syrup which has been made popular in many vegan baking recipes.
It has a slightly nutty and caramel-like flavor and works well when combined with cinnamon or other spices often used in yam dishes.
Whichever brown sugar substitute you choose for your recipe, rest assured that the results will be delicious!
Discover more: Best substitutes for cane sugar
nagaimo- Chinese Yam
Chinese Yam, also known as nagaimo, is a tuber vegetable native to East and Southeast Asia.
It is a vital ingredient in many Chinese and Japanese dishes, often used as a substitute for potato or starch-based ingredients.
Chinese Yam has a unique, crunchy texture that makes it ideal for making tempura or adding to stir-fries and soups. It also has a sweet flavor, with hints of cinnamon and clove, and is high in dietary fiber.
nagaimo substitute okonomiyaki
Nagaimo, also known as Japanese Yam, is a versatile ingredient commonly used in Japanese dishes such as okonomiyaki.
Nagaimo is widely available in grocery stores and markets and can use in a variety of ways. It has a slightly slimy texture that can add moisture and sweetness to savory dishes like okonomiyaki.
The flavor of nagaimo is mild and slightly sweet, with its starchy texture adding some body to the dish.
In addition to being an incredible alternative to okonomiyaki, nagaimo can also be grated and added to soups or stir fry dishes for extra flavor and texture.
When boiled or steamed, it takes on a creamy consistency that is perfect for making sauces or cream-based dishes like curry. It’s also an extraordinary source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium.
In Japanese cuisine, a common substitute for nagaimo in okonomiyaki is taro root. It has a similar texture to nagaimo and provides a similar savory umami flavor.
Taro root can be grated, diced or sliced depending on the recipe and desired texture of the finished dish.
It is a great substitution because it has many health benefits, as well as adding an additional layer of flavor to the okonomiyaki.
Additionally, taro root is known to be naturally gluten-free, making it an outstanding option for those with gluten intolerances who wish to enjoy this popular Japanese dish.
In addition to taro root, there are other ingredients that can be used as a substitution for nagaimo in okonomiyaki.
For example, sweet potato or Yam can be grated and added to the batter to provide some extra sweetness and texture.
Carrots are also a great option as they add natural sweetness and crunch.
In addition, shredded cabbage and bean sprouts are often used as fillings or toppings to add more flavor and texture to the okonomiyaki dish.
Substitute for Yam in baking
When baking, many people substitute sweet potatoes for yams. Sweet potato is a starchy root veg that offers a nice sweet flavor to baked goods.
They also provide more fiber and nutrients than yams. Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture that helps keep cakes and muffins moist while also offering a slightly sweeter taste than traditional yams.
Baked goods made with sweet potatoes tend to be denser than those made from yams, which can give them a heartier, more satisfying flavor.
When substituting sweet potatoes for yams in baking recipes, it is necessary to keep in mind that they may need extra moisture to achieve the desired results.
Adding an extra tablespoon of oil or water can help make sure the finished product has the texture you’re looking for.
Find More- What Vegetable Is Similar To Sweet Potato?
Substitute for yams in soup
A popular substitute for yams in soup is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a similar flavor profile to yams, making them an ideal replacement.
Additionally, they have a more elevated nutritional value than yams; they are packed with vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants.
Sweet potatoes also serve as a good source of potassium, magnesium, and other minerals.
When using sweet potatoes to replace yams in soup recipes, it’s important to make sure that the cooking times are adjusted accordingly since sweet potatoes may take longer to cook than yams.
To ensure optimal flavor and texture, look for varieties of sweet potato that have a softer flesh, such as orange-fleshed or jewel varieties.
Whether you’re seeking a low-carb alternative or simply looking for a tastier option in your soups, sweet potatoes are an excellent substitution for yams.
Conclusion on substitute for Yam
In conclusion, when looking for an alternative to yams in your recipes, sweet potatoes and parsnips are the closest matches in terms of texture and flavor.
Squashes & pumpkins, plantains, potatoes, rutabaga, carrots & beets, jicama, radish and Celeriac can also be used as alternatives, but you may need to adjust the ratio depending on the recipe.
With these ingredients in hand, you are now ready to make delicious dishes without having to use yams!
FAQs on substitute for Yam
Q1. What is similar to Yam?
Similar to Yam are sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a similar texture, flavor, and nutrition profile as yams, but they are not true yams.
Sweet potatoes come in different colors, such as white, purple, yellow and orange varieties, whereas traditional yams typically only come in white or tan colored varieties.
They both have a delicious flavor when cooked and can use interchangeably in recipes that call for either one.
Q2. Can potatoes be substituted for yams?
Potatoes can be a suitable substitution for yams in some dishes, although they are not perfect replicas. Potatoes tend to be more starchy and dry, while yams are usually sweet and more moist.
Furthermore, the color of potatoes and yams vary widely; potatoes are often white or brownish, while yams range from yellow to purple in color.
Their textures also differ; potatoes have a mealy texture, while yams tend to be slightly stringy.
When substituting potatoes for yams in a recipe, it is crucial to consider the flavor and surface of the finished dish as well as the visual appeal.
Counting on your dish, you may need to adjust other ingredients, such as spices or seasonings, to compensate for any dissimilarities between the two root vegetables.
Q3. Is Yam similar to sweet potato?
Yes, Yam and sweet potato are similar. Both yams and sweet potatoes come from the same plant family and have similar nutritional profiles.
However, they have some prominent differences in flavor, texture, and appearance.
Yams tend to be sweeter with a more starchy texture than sweet potatoes, which are often moister and less sugary. Yams also have thicker skin with a rough texture, while sweet potatoes usually have thinner skin that is smoother.
Q4. Can I substitute yams for potatoes?
Yes, you can substitute yams for potatoes in many recipes. Yams are a type of root veg that provide a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins C & B6, potassium and manganese.
Additionally, yams are known to provide a heart-healthy complex carbohydrate that can help maintain steady levels of energy throughout the day.
Compared to potatoes, yams are sweeter in flavor and have a drier texture when cooked. Both yams and potatoes can be boiled, mashed, fried or roasted, depending on the recipe that you’re using.
However, because yams tend to hold their shape better than potatoes, they are ideal for dishes such as casseroles where an even texture is desired.