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Sweet Potato Leaves -- Yum!

Had a delicious meal of hot blanched then stir-fried sweet potato greens tonight (garlic, shallots, dried red chili peppers, a few chives, oyster sauce, soy sauce). Delicious!

Where have these been all my life?

I've had and loved sauce feuille with beef, chicken, and/or fried fish over rice from Senegalese and other West African restaurants. But living in the Midwest, NYC, and now Florida I've never seen fresh potato leaves in a regular supermarket or, in NYC, a corner produce market.

Why is it that only (some) Asian specialty grocers seem to carry potato leaves?
They're delicious. They're green leafy vegetables that are supposed to be good for you. They apparently grow pretty readily -- some folks have them growing as weeds in their yards. (And heck, most markets carry the sweet potatoes!)

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  1. There also doesn't seem to be much info on them here at chowhound.

    Just a handful of threads it seems
    like http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7414...

    1. Another way to try them -

      고구마순나물 (gogumasun-namul)
      Cooked Sweet Potato Stems

      Side dish made with the stems of the sweet potato. The stems are blanched and seasoned, then lightly fried with oil

      1 bunch sweet-potato leaves
      1 teaspoon salt
      3 or 4 cloves garlic
      1 tablespoon sesame oil
      1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

      Preparation

      Sweet potato leaves:
      Separate the stems from the leaves.
      Peel the skin off the stems then cut into about 1 inch sections.
      Bring a pot of water to a full boil
      Blanch the stems for about 45 seconds, then the leaves for about 10 seconds.
      Drain well.

      Seasoning Mix
      Mince the garlic cloves.
      Combine the sesame oil, sesame seeds, and minced garlic in a bowl and mix well.
      Let stand about 15 minutes.

      Place the sweet potato stems and leaves in the seasoning mix and toss until well mixed.
      Serve immediately or chill and serve within a couple of hours.

      --------------------
      They also go well in spicy soups like Korean Yukejon

      1 Reply
      1. re: hannaone

        Thanks for the recipe. Fantastic!

        Most recipes I've seen advise tossing the lower parts of the stems, which seems such a waste. I'm glad to see an option that puts them to good use.
        (Although having to peel off the outer layers of the larger stems does seem like a pain in the butt.)

      2. We grow them in our garden and I love them.

        Blanch quickly and then toss with a soy sauce, rice vinegar, minced garlic marinade and you have a dish made for kings.

        1. Heck, with the ingredients and prep detailed in your first sentence, grass clippings would taste good! That's a method that will turn most greens into something delectable. I have never had sweet potato leaves - what do they taste like just as is?

          2 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            I have never had sweet potato leaves - what do they taste like just as is?
            __________________________

            Mild kale, or maybe a stronger flavored spinach.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Although spinach has a bit of a bite to it that potato leaves don't have.

          2. I think this is the same or similar to the Filipino vegetable "talbos ng kamote" or the tops (leaves) of sweet potatoes. For reference,

            http://firstvitaplus.net/vit_talboska...
            http://www.foodrecap.net/health/benef...
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamote

            1 Reply
            1. re: FML

              Growing up my PI-born Mom would blanch them in salted water. She would then thinly slice tomatoes, and onions, and mince fresh ginger and add salt to taste. After plating the drained kamote leaves she would toss them along with the tomato mixture.

            2. Wow, I didn't know this. Are regular potato leaves also edible? I'm mentally kicking myself about the ones I tossed into the compost pile after harvest.

              What about ornamental sweet potato vines?

              3 Replies
              1. re: tcamp

                I'd be careful. The stems and leaves of potatoes contain a poison, solanine, that can kill if enough is ingested.

                1. re: racer x

                  So potatoes and sweet potatoes are not related?

                  1. re: tcamp

                    According to their wikipedia entries, they belong to different families (potato Solanaceae, sweet potato Convolvulaceae).

                    That doesn't automatically mean that sweet potatoes don't also produce the neurotoxin, it just seems, from the lack of discussion of it on the webz, that if they do the quantities aren't as high. (On the other hand, maybe the lack of discussion is due to the fact that most people who are on the webz don't know anything about eating sweet potato leaves!)

                    We could really use the input of a Sam Fujisaka here.
                    Maybe jumpingmonk on the Manhattan board has info.

              2. Last night I had a dish of sweet potato leaves that had been blanched, then simmered with garlic, shallots, ginger, dried chili peppers, MSG, a little fresh lime juice, and coconut milk. Served over rice.
                De-licious!

                adapted from this recipe from Zanzibar
                http://www.mambomagazine.com/blog/18-...
                but mine was much creamier, from serving it with more coconut milk.

                I think sweet potato leaves may very well be my favorite leafy green vegetable (not including leafy green herbs).

                2 Replies
                1. re: racer x

                  Wow, thanks. *Just* bought a big bag of "potatoe leaves" at korean market and this sounds good.

                  1. re: racer x

                    If you like sweet potato leaves, maybe try some

                    dandelion greens
                    chili pepper stems and leaves
                    Daikon radish stems and leaves

                    and see what you think.