Japanese sweet potatoes are medium to large in size and are cylindrical, oblong, and slightly bulbous in shape with rounded to tapered ends. The textured skin has a smooth, semi-rough consistency with a few shallow eyes and ranges in color from pink, red, purple, to light brown with a red undertone. When raw, the flesh is firm and dense with a creamy white to pale yellow hue, deepening to a golden yellow and developing a softer feel when cooked. Japanese sweet potatoes offer a drier, starchier texture than other sweet potato varieties and have a subtly sweet, nutty, and slightly floral, chestnut-like flavor.
Japanese sweet potatoes contain fiber, thiamin, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
Japanese sweet potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, baking, boiling, stir-frying, and steaming. The roots are most commonly consumed with the skin on and are roasted or baked whole to be served by themselves or topped with vegetables and sauces. The sweet potatoes can also be mixed in a breakfast hash, diced and served with pasta, sliced into curries, tossed into salads, fried for tempura, or incorporated into soups and stews. Japanese sweet potatoes pair well with meats such as pork chops, poultry, and steak, poached eggs, prunes, rice, sesame seeds, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, scallions, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, miso, mirin, and wasabi. The roots will keep up to a week when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place with good air circulation.