I vividly remember the first time I ever walked into an Asian supermarket. It was many years back, when a local T&T first opened, and there were so many funny feelings… all sorts of giddy kid-in-a-candy-store type stuff mixed with the complete overwhelm of not being able to recognize 80% of the things being sold. I was so curious and wanted everything unfamiliar, but had no clue about where to begin figuring out what to do with it all. I’m not sure if I walked away with anything but a belly full of dumpling samples on that first day, but I’ve been slowly exploring ever since.
Fast forward to last weekend. I’m a pro at navigating the ol’ Asian supermarket these days and I ventured out to stock up on some of my hard-to-find favourites. Their produce section is THE BEST! I decided to try a new-to-me purple sweet potato. PURPLE sweet potato, people! Am I the only one with a purple veg obsession?
Whether you’re into the whole purple veg thing or not, I urge you to try these gorgeous sweet spuds if you can find them. There’s no better way to get to know a sweet potato than to roast it, IMO, so in the oven it went, right next to the common orange kind. The flesh is drier and tastes a little more chestnut-y…super delicious! And I actually loved having them side by side, just for the variety and beautiful colours.
The toppings are a mish-mash of ingredients that I love and had on hand. There are so many ways in which you can take this recipe, so it’s really the idea and a much-needed January colour burst that I’m going for here. Swap the mint for some cilantro or thai basil, cashews for peanuts, or the purple cabbage for some green, savoy, or nappa. Crispy shallots would be make a pretty great topping as well!
Happy new year btw!! I know it’s been a few weeks already, but every Friday in 2016 has felt like Monday was just yesterday and WHOA…I hadn’t posted in almost a month. Mr.Rebel (my camera) finally saw some sun this week…YEAH!…and I’m super excited about a few fun collaborations that I’m doing with fellow bloggers and brands over the next couple of months! Winter is kinda tough inspiration-wise for me…the garden being under a foot of snow and all (or more like an inch this year), but I love winter food and feel so totally lucky to have it all available around the corner….so yeah…I’ll stop rambling now. Happy 2016 :)
- 1.5 - 2 lbs of mixed sweet potatoes (I used purple and orange), cut into wedges
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
- sambal oelek, or your favourite savoury chili paste, to taste (see notes)
- salt, to taste
- 1 cup of packed shredded purple cabbage
- 1/4 cup of chopped toasted cashews
- torn or roughly chopped mint leaves
- thinly sliced chilis
- 1 lime
- 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 small ripe mango (I like ataulfo mangoes for this), peeled and sliced.
- 1/2 a cup of coconut milk
- juice of one juicy lime
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small skillet over low-medium heat.
- Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two until very fragrant.
- Add a few tablespoons of the chili paste (see note) and keep sautéing until everything is well incorporated and smells amazing.
- Toss the mixture with the sweet potato wedges and season with salt, to taste (amount will depend on how much salt is in your chili paste - I had to add a few pinches with the sambal oelek).
- Roast for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked (pierce with a knife to test), starting to brown on the bottom, and there are burnt garlic bits on the surface.
- While the potatoes are roasting prep the toppings and make the mango dipping sauce. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and process until really smooth. Add some more coconut milk and/or water, if needed, to adjust the consistency. It took a couple of minutes at super high speed in my blender. Taste and adjust with salt and/or lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Massage the shredded cabbage with a pinch of salt and the juice of half a lime. Set aside and slice the remaining half of the lime into wedges.
- When the potatoes are ready, top them with the cabbage and remaining toppings right away and serve hot with the lime wedges and mango dipping sauce on the side.
Chili pastes totally vary in heat, salinity, and flavour! Use your favourite, or whatever you have on hand and adjust the amount to achieve the desired heat. I used about 2 Tbsp. of sambal oelek (pretty mild) for 1.5 lbs of sweet potatoes.