I’ll admit that I have a weakness for all types of ground provisions, but I have a special attachment to yams. In soups, steamed, boiled, mashed, scalloped, roasted.. I’m country to heart and love ground provisions (or “food” as my Jamaican brothers and sisters would say) in all forms. Moving to Canada all those moons ago I also fell in love with corned beef and potato hash, so the creative side of my brain thought it would be nice to have a Caribbean version.
2-3 cups cubed yam
pinch black pepper
2 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 med onion diced
1 tablespoon parsley (garnish)
2 tablespoon shredded salted fish
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
Note: I’m using Caribbean style yams for this recipe and not the sweet potato that’s usually called yams in North American grocery stores. Go to your local West Indian, Latin Or Asian food stores and I’m sure you’ll find it being sold there. It may be called Jamaican or West Indian yam. Sweet potato is a good alternative for this recipe as well, but remember you may need to balance the natural sweetness of it. I started cooking this in a cast iron pan, but transferred it to a non stick frying pan for better results.
Using a potato peeler or sharp pairing knife, peel the yam as you would normally peel a potato. If there are any black spots or blemishes..cut and remove. The sticky residue from the yams may irritate your skin/hands so do wear gloves or coat your hands with some vegetable oil. Cube and set in cool water until you’re ready to cook or it will discolor quickly.
If you’ve never prepared salted cod fish before, you’ll need to soak it in cold water, then drain. Now place it in a pot with water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then drain, rinse with cool water and shred. I got the boned variety, for less work (don’t have to search out the tiny little bones to remove). The soaking and boiling will remove the heavy salt it’s been cured in.
Dice the scotch bonnet pepper (no seeds) and onion, and get ready to cook.
Heat the coconut oil in a non stick frying pan on a medium flame, then add the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then add the black pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and shredded salted fish (salted cod). Allow this to cook for about 3-4 minutes, so we get the lovely accent of the salted cod. Now drain the cubed yam and add to the pot. Your heat should be at med/low now and cover the pot so it sort of steam cooks.
Remember to stir every 4 minutes and this should be fully cooked in about 20 minutes. The natural sugars in the cubed yam will cause it to get a lovely golden brown on the edges. You can remove the lid the last 4 minutes of cooking, and to test if it’s fully cooked all you have to do is pierce it with a sharp knife. If there’s no resistance.. you’re good to go. Garnish with the chopped parsley!
What a lovely way to start the day with this unique Caribbean style hash brown. There’s enough here for 3-4 people if serving as a side to eggs and toast.