Spiced Yam Chips

By Dr Gabriella F Buttarazzi.

You can find out more about Gabriella’s work at www.theartofintegralbeing.org

1 medium-sized dish, serving 2 to share.

Good For
As a side dish, served with a sun-dried tomato tapenade (as pictured).

The Chinese yam (shānyào, 山药) in Chinese mandarin) is the ideal shape for making chips. Chinese yam is a key medicinal ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), commonly used as a remedy in broths and teas. It can also be pickled or steamed. This recipe uses fresh Chinese yams. Chinese yam has a low glycemic index (GI) and is therefore a healthy alternative to the white potato. It is available in many east Asian countries and is sometimes also referred to as mountain medicine. It can be found one of the many Chinese supermarkets in the UK.

The seasoning in this recipe is an adaptation of a very typical (and tingly) Chinese barbeque seasoning. The Sichuan pepper really makes it, it makes your lips tingle and it adds an unusual flavour dimension to any seasoning or marinade.


  • 2-3 Chinese yams
  • 100ml extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp Sichuan pepper, crushed
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • To taste sea salt
  • To taste ground mixed peppercorns

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Pre-heat the oven to around 180 degrees Celsius.

Step 2

Clean the Chinese yams very well, removing the rough woody strings gently without removing the skin itself.

Step 3

Cut into approximately 15cm pieces and then cut lengthwise to create chip-shapes of sorts.

Step 4

Mix all other ingredients together and brush or rub over the yam using a pastry brush or your hands. If the coconut oil has set, you may heat it up before using.

Step 5

Place on a well-oiled baking tray and roast for 15 minutes or until golden around the edges but still plump.

Alternative Options

Substitute the green herbs for any other dried ground herbs you have, such as chervil, bay leaf and/or oregano. You may also add other flavoursome seeds such as nigella seeds.

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