Mountain yam aficionados love its viscosity when finely grated, but for the uninitiated, fresh julienned pieces are an excellent way to enjoy the crisp texture of the tuber. In this mountain yam recipe with vinegared sesame sauce, the rich dressing balances beautifully with the delicately flavored vegetable.
When cutting mountain yam, place a clean cloth atop the cutting board, so the slippery pieces don't slide around as you julienne. To counteract the itchy properties of mountain yam, wash your hands and forearms with warm soapy water after handling.
Konbu dashi is easy to make from scratch, and a batch can be used to make a variety of vegetarian Japanese dishes. Look for white sesame paste at your local Japanese market, or online. Different brands of sesame paste have varying consistencies, so you may need to add more konbu dashi to make the sauce pourable.
This recipe is adapted from Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook and was featured in “This 1-Ingredient No-Cook Stock is at the Heart of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking."
- One 4¾-in. piece mountain yam, scrubbed
- 2 Tbsp. Japanese white sesame paste
- 1 Tbsp. konbu dashi, plus more as needed
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. shoyu
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. black sesame seeds