Just a few years ago, I was introduced to the delectably sweet surprise of Japanese sweet potatoes.

These suckers are amazing.

Deep purple on the outside, and rich and buttery yellow on the inside, the starchy sweetness is indescribable.

Here in my neck of the woods, they are really hard to come by, and, thus, a very special treat.

Reminiscing on the original coconut-vanilla concoction so carefully paired with these sweetie tubers, I decided on a bit of a recipe re-vist. Many things remain the same, but a few tweaks, I presume, make this dish truly FIVE STAR.


Eat your heart out, baby.

My Sweet Surprise – Japanese Sweet Potatoes with a Vanilla Salt Coconut Cream Sauce and Elk Sausage

2 Japanese sweet potatoes**
1 Tbs. Kerrygold butter (use coconut oil for a completely dairy-free version)
1/2 lb. elk sausage (bison or beef – or even pork or turkey works fine here – or even just ground meat, sans “sausage”)
1/2 sweet onion, diced
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
2 tsp. + vanilla salt, divided
freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
1 Tbs. dark chocolate balsamic vinegar

Using a spiralizer, “noodle” the sweet potatoes into long, gorgeous strands. **If no “noodling” is available, simply wrap the taters in foil and bake at 425 degrees for 60-90 minutes, until soft. You’ll smash and mash the taters when baked, and serve the sauce over the mash.** Once noodled, steam the sweet, long treats over boiling water for about 8 minutes, or until soft. Divide between two serving dishes and sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp. vanilla salt.


Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt the butter or oil over medium-low heat (you may need a bit extra butter if the ground sausage proves to be too lean). Add the onions and meat and brown to perfection. Add the remaining vanilla salt and a little pepper. Add coconut milk and reduce for about 3-5 minutes. 
Spoon the delicious coconuty meaty sauce over the potato noodles and dress with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic.

This truly will be your sweet surprise. It’s magic. MAGIC.


Try pairing this with a dry, yet robust red wine. PULL.

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