Old World yams and New World sweet potatoes are indeed different vegetables. In the US today, the terms are often used interchangeably to describe popular varieties of red-skinned, orange-fleshed tubers with pointed ends. At Earthbound Farm we produce the Garnet and Jewel varieties, which are commonly called yams but are actually sweet potatoes. No matter what you call them, though, they're delicious! Yams, or sweet potatoes, are a staple in southern Africa, prized for their nutritional value and long shelf life. This recipe finds inspiration in Malay cuisine, where sweet and fruity side dishes often accompany grilled meats and stews.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Peel the yams and cut into 1-inch chunks. Arrange in an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or oven-proof dish.
Combine the butter, sugar, zest, juice, cardamom, and Chinese Five Spice Powder in a small pan and heat to boiling. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes, then pour over yam slices. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the yams are tender and the juices create a glaze.