Nagaimo, or Japanese yam, produced in Aomori claims a 40% share of domestic distribution. In recent years, there has been an increase in the numbers of yam shipped to the U.S. and Taiwan to meet the demand of foreign consumers for both food and medicinal purposes.
Planting begins in May. Nagaimo has two harvest seasons; fall harvest in November and December and spring harvest in March and April.
“Ganku Mijika” is the name of the main variety of nagaimo, identified by a short round neck and soft flesh having little harshness.
How to Choose Nagaimo
- The surface of the yam should be smooth and shiny, with few fibrous roots.
- The color should be even and the flesh should be round and thick
- When cut, the flesh should be white and fresh
Preservation and Cooking Methods
When whole, nagaimo should be wrapped in newspaper and kept in a cool dark place. Do not freeze. If cut, the cut area should be wrapped in plastic so as not to be exposed to air and the yam should be refrigerated.
The most common way of eating nagaimo is by eating it fresh, shredded or thinly sliced. It is also recommended to eat as pickles or deep-fried.
Find a restaurant or store
Depending on the season and weather, this product may not be available.