Easy Stovetop Recipe: How to Cook Canned Yams

I. Introduction


Canned yams are a convenient and time-saving option for those who want to enjoy the delicious taste of yams without the hassle of peeling and boiling fresh ones. In this article, we will explore the simplicity and versatility of stovetop cooking using canned yams. The stovetop method allows for quick and easy preparation, making it a perfect choice for busy individuals or those who simply want a hassle-free cooking experience.

II. Gathering Your Ingredients

To cook canned yams on the stovetop, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Canned yams: The star of the dish, canned yams come pre-peeled and cooked, making them a convenient option.
  • Butter: Adds a rich and creamy flavor to the dish.
  • Brown sugar: Provides a touch of sweetness to balance out the natural earthiness of the yams.
  • Cinnamon: A warm spice that enhances the flavor of the yams and adds a delightful aroma.
  • Nutmeg: Another spice that complements the sweetness of the yams and adds depth to the dish.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the yams by bringing out their natural sweetness.

III. Preparing the Yams

A. Draining and Rinsing

  1. Open the can of yams and carefully pour the contents into a colander or strainer to drain away the excess syrup or liquid that accompanies the yams in the can. This step is essential to ensure that your final dish is not overly sweet.
  2. Once the yams are drained, rinse them under cold water to remove any remaining syrup or liquid. Rinsing the yams also helps to reduce their sweetness, making them more versatile and adaptable to various recipes.

B. Cutting and Slicing

  1. After draining and rinsing the yams, it’s time to prepare them for cooking. Start by transferring the yams onto a cutting board.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the yams into your desired sizes and shapes. You can go for round slices, cubes, or even mash them for a smoother texture. The choice is entirely up to your preference and the recipe you are planning to make.
  3. When slicing the yams, it is important to aim for uniform sizes to ensure even cooking. This will ensure that each piece cooks at the same rate, resulting in a perfectly cooked dish.

IV. Cooking the Yams

A. Stovetop Cooking

Option 1: Boiling

Instructions for boiling the yams in a pot of water

Boiling yams is a simple and effective way to cook them on the stovetop. Follow these instructions to achieve perfectly tender yams:

  1. Start by selecting fresh and firm yams from your local grocery store or farmer’s market. It’s important to choose yams that are free from blemishes or soft spots.
  2. Rinse the yams under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Use a vegetable brush to scrub the skin gently if needed.
  3. Fill a large pot with enough water to completely submerge the yams. Add a pinch of salt to the water for flavor enhancement.
  4. Place the pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Carefully add the yams to the boiling water, ensuring they are fully submerged. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid.
  6. Allow the yams to simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until they are fork-tender. The exact cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the yams.
  7. To test the tenderness of the yams, insert a fork or skewer into the thickest part of a yam. If it easily slides through without much resistance, the yams are done. If not, continue cooking for a few more minutes and test again.
  8. Once the yams are tender, carefully remove them from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon. Place them on a cutting board or plate to cool slightly before serving.

Boiling the yams is a straightforward method that helps retain their natural sweetness and flavor. However, it is important to note that boiling can cause some loss of nutrients compared to other cooking methods.

Option 2: Simmering

Instructions for simmering the yams in a saucepan or skillet

Simmering yams is a great alternative to boiling as it allows for flavor infusion and can add depth to your dish. Follow these instructions to simmer yams to perfection:

  1. Begin by selecting fresh and firm yams from your local grocery store or farmer’s market, just like in the boiling method.
  2. Rinse the yams under running water and scrub gently with a vegetable brush if necessary.
  3. Peel the yams using a sharp vegetable peeler or knife. It’s optional to leave the skin on if you prefer a more rustic texture.
  4. Cut the yams into uniform chunks or slices. This will ensure even cooking and prevent some pieces from being overcooked while others remain undercooked.
  5. Heat a saucepan or skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil or butter.
  6. Once the oil or butter has melted, add the yam pieces to the pan. Stir them gently to coat them evenly with the oil or butter.
  7. Season the yams with salt and pepper, or other desired herbs and spices such as thyme or rosemary.
  8. Pour enough water or vegetable broth into the pan to cover the yams partially. You can also use a combination of water and your favorite flavored liquid such as orange juice or apple cider for added depth of flavor.
  9. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the yams to simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork.
  10. Check the yams occasionally to ensure they are not sticking to the pan. If the liquid evaporates too quickly, add more water or broth as needed.

B. Flavor Enhancements


Sweetening the Yams

Suggestions for adding sweeteners like brown sugar or maple syrup

Yams have a natural sweetness that can be enhanced with the addition of sweeteners. Here are some suggestions for adding sweetness to your cooked yams:

  1. Brown sugar: Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of brown sugar over the boiled or simmered yams. Gently toss the yams to ensure the sugar is evenly distributed. The brown sugar will melt and create a delicious caramelization, enhancing the natural sweetness of the yams.
  2. Maple syrup: Drizzle a tablespoon or two of maple syrup over the cooked yams. Toss them gently to coat them in the syrup. The maple syrup adds a rich and comforting sweetness that complements the yams perfectly.

Adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg

In addition to sweeteners, spices can elevate the flavor profile of cooked yams. Here are two popular spice choices for yams:

  1. Cinnamon: Sprinkle a pinch or two of cinnamon over the boiled or simmered yams. Gently toss the yams to ensure the cinnamon is evenly distributed. Cinnamon adds a warm and fragrant flavor that pairs exceptionally well with the natural sweetness of yams.
  2. Nutmeg: Grate a small amount of nutmeg over the cooked yams. Use a microplane or fine grater to achieve a fine powder. Nutmeg adds a slightly earthy and nutty flavor to the yams, balancing the sweetness and adding depth.

Adding Butter or Margarine

Recommendation to enhance the flavor and richness with a pat of butter or margarine

Butter or margarine adds richness and creaminess to cooked yams, taking them to a whole new level of deliciousness. Here’s how to incorporate butter or margarine into your yams:

  1. Once the yams are cooked and tender, place them in a serving dish or individual plates.
  2. Add a small pat of butter or margarine on top of each yam.
  3. Allow the butter or margarine to melt slightly, coating the yams with its creamy goodness.

Be cautious not to add too much butter or margarine, as it can overpower the natural flavors of the yams and make them overly greasy. Start with a small amount and adjust to your taste preferences.

With these simple instructions for cooking yams on the stovetop and flavor enhancements, you can create a delicious and satisfying dish that everyone will love. Enjoy the natural sweetness and richness of yams in a way that highlights their unique flavors.