Oto (Mashed Yam Patties)

5.0
(1)

Puna yam (not to be confused with sweet potato) is the star of this Ghanaian dish often served on wedding days. Puna yams are starchy; it's essential to avoid overcooking them in order to make shaping the patties easier. Their unique texture and flavor make them worth seeking out for this recipe; see sourcing info below.

Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
8

Ingredients

  • 6 cups peeled and chopped (1/2-inch pieces) puna (Ghana) yam (from 1 [2-pound] yam)

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • ¼ cup red palm oil 

  • 3 ½ tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon corn flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 5 soft-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise

  • Thinly sliced seeded fresh Anaheim chiles

  • Torn fresh cilantro leaves

  • Thinly sliced red onion

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add chopped yam and brown sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Drain and return yam to pot. Using a potato masher, mash yam while still steaming. Add red palm oil, canola oil, thyme, garlic, corn flour, and salt. Mash until mixture is fully combined, smooth, and evenly colored, about 5 minutes. Let mixture stand at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

  2. Divide yam mixture evenly into 10 pieces (about 3 1/2 ounces each). Shape each piece into a 3/4-inch-thick, 3-inch-wide patty.

  3. Heat a large pan over medium, and add canola oil to a depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Add 5 patties to hot oil; fry until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer cooked patties to a rimmed baking sheet or a platter, and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm while cooking remaining patties. Repeat process with additional oil and remaining patties. Top patties with soft-cooked eggs; sprinkle with chiles, cilantro, and onion.

    Oto (Mashed Yam Patties)
    Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Notes

Find puna yams and red palm oil at specialty food markets, or order from olasfoodsmarket.com.

Related Articles