Japanese sweet potatoes have a reddish, purple skin with bright white flesh that transforms into a buttery golden hue as they cooks. Their complex chestnut flavor and dry, starchy texture pair perfectly with a touch of butter, cream and salt.
Authors Note: This recipe has been updated, and simplified after many rounds of re-testing. This new version is easier to make and just as, if not more delicious as the original. I’ve left the original recipe proportions in the notes section of the recipe card for anyone who would like them.
Creamy, buttery and perfectly sweet, these decadent Japanese sweet potatoes are the perfect side dish for a variety of main courses. They even make an appearance on my Thanksgiving menu every year – to rave reviews I might add!
You can make these potatoes well ahead of time, up to three days. They reheat beautifully on the stove top with a bit of extra butter or cream to loosen them up. Just before serving, use a sturdy whisk to re-whip them until light and fluffy.
All you need is four simple ingredients to make this recipe; Japanese (Murasaki) sweet potatoes, heavy cream (or milk), butter and salt.
Step 1. Peel, Quarter and Simmer:
Japanese sweet potatoes oxidize (turn brown) after peeling almost instantly. To combat this, fill a large pot with water and set it next to your cutting board. Peel and quarter the potatoes one at a time, working quickly to transfer them to the pot of water as soon as possible. Repeat until all of the potatoes are peeled, quartered and submerged in the water. Simmer until tender.
Step 2: Whip
Unlike russet or yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes are amenable a variety of whipping, or mashing techniques. An electric hand mixer is my go-to. It’s fast, efficient and works in enough air to make the potatoes light and fluffy. A sturdy whisk will work too as long as you don’t mind the extra effort. A stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment will also achieve a light and fluffy result. Lastly, for a super smooth purée, choose a food processor.
Step 3: Serve
Season the potatoes with more salt or butter as needed. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Potato (and Sweet Potato) Recipes
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Whipped Japanese Sweet Potatoes
- 6 large Japanese (Murasaki) sweet potatoes about 4 pounds
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- Peel the sweet potatoes (see note) and place them in a large pot of cold, generously salted water. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once tender, drain the sweet potatoes through a colander, let them rest there for about 2-3 minutes to allow the excess moisture to evaporate.
- Next, transfer the the potatoes back into the pot they were cooked along with the butter, cream and a generous pinch of salt. Use an electric hand mixer (or, if you don't mind the arm work out, a sturdy whisk) to whip the potatoes until smooth and fluffy. Alternatively, the potatoes can be whipped in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a food processor.
- Taste and season the sweet potatoes with additional salt or butter as needed. Serve warm.
- Peeling Japanese Sweet Potatoes: Japanese sweet potatoes oxidize (turn brown) after peeling almost instantly. To combat this, fill a large pot with water and set it next to your cutting board. Peel and quarter the potatoes one at a time, working quickly to transfer them to the pot of water as soon as possible. Repeat until all of the potatoes are peeled, quartered and submerged in the water.
- Heavy Cream or Milk: If you don’t mind a bit of extra fat and richness use heavy cream. For a lighter mashed potato use whole milk.
- Leftovers can be stored in a shallow, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a small sauce pot on the stove or in the microwave.
- 4 pounds Japanese Sweet Potatoes
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 tablespoons butter
Place the peeled and quartered sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Add two big pinches of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid then drain through a colander.
Rinse out the pot the potatoes were cooking in and place it back on the stove over low heat, and add in the cream and butter. Position a potato ricer or food mill over the pot and pass the cooked sweet potatoes through the mill and into the cream and butter mixture. Use a large spatula to fold the butter and cream into the riced potatoes. Season generously to taste with kosher salt. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and top with a few slices of butter. Serve immediately.