Yam Fritters


The holiday season is now officially in full swing and you’ll need some creative recipes up your sleeve, especially if you want to continue to wow your peers with plant powered recipes.

Now, this is not one of the healthiest recipes I’ve ever made, but even us health-conscious vegans have to live a little, right? While it’s fried, it’s still cholesterol free, gluten free, and 100% delicious. With cold weather settling in, we all crave heartier recipes and there’s few things more hearty than a fried root vegetable.

One of the things I like best about this recipe, is that it can be served pretty much any time of day. The first time I made it was for dinner, then a potluck, then a brunch. The sweetness of the yams paired with the spicy sauce provide that sweet-savory contrast that works perfectly in brunch foods.

I chose yellow yams because I’ve been really inspired to mix up my use of root vegetables since my trip to Peru in September. I loved seeing how many different ways so many different types of potatoes, yams, yucca, and other starchy roots were used in Peruvian cuisine. These plants have different flavor palates and more nutrients than potatoes at a comparable cost, so it’s been really refreshing to come up with some recipes highlighting them. The yellow yams (sometimes called Jamaican yam) are not as sweet as some other varieties, which makes them a nice compliment to the strong flavor of turmeric.

The last time I made the fritters, I couldn’t find the yellow yams, so I went with the orange variety most North Americans are familiar with. Since they’re sweeter, I went with an Indian spice blend (about 2 ½ teaspoons), about ½ tablespoon agave nectar, and paired with tahini dressing instead. Boom, another successful recipe! That’s one of the things I love so much about playing with these tuber vegetables, there’s a million things you can do with them! Enjoy.

Yam Fritters with Buffalo Mayo

Yield: about a dozen fritters

For the fritters:

  • 3 pounds yellow yams
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon egg replacer
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ tablespoon soy milk
  • About 2 cups cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons- ¼ cup grapeseed or canola oil

For the Buffalo Mayo:

  • ⅔ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon)

To Make the Fritters:
– Clean the yams and cut into 2 inch pieces, place in a large stockpot with water, and boil until tender, about 20- 25 minutes. Let cool. Once cool, the peel should come right off. Cut into 1 inch pieces so they blend easily.
– Place yams and all ingredients except cornmeal in a food processor fitted with the metal “S” blade. Pulse until you have a smooth, mashed potato type of consistency. Move to a large mixing bowl and stir in cornmeal gradually. You may only need 1 ½ cups depending on how mashed your yams are.
– Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet. Once oil is bubbling, reduce heat to medium, and using an ice cream scooper, dollop out fritter batter. Fry until golden brown on each side (about 5 minutes) and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat until all batter is used.
Top with mayo and serve.

To make the mayo:
Whisk together all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep for several weeks.

Cook’s note: The variation with sweet potatoes that I mentioned about is a great way to use your leftover Thanksgiving sweet potatoes! Fry em up and serve with tahini dressing or even vegan ranch.

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