Jamaican Yams ( Roasted vs Boiled)

I remember seeing yams for sale while driving around the Island  on several of my initial road trips in Jamaica. For some reason I was never eager to try them, until one day we stopped  in a place called Mandiville where they sold them roasted at outdoor stalls.

It was amazing  to witness the roasting process, as the process was clearly not one I had experienced before.  The yams were sold with a piece of roasted saltfish, which is basically salt cod. From that day onward I was hooked on yams, and have since found that I prefer them boiled. When they are good, they are nice, soft and not bitter, with a texture similar to that of a boiled potatoe.( Its’ been rumored that the worlds fastest man Usain Bolt, grew up eating these very same Jamaican yams)

This past weekend I was able to eat yet another prize winning piece, which I purchased at a small country market after purchasing 4lbs of the best tuna steak ever. So our dinner consisted of yams, freshly broiled Tuna steak, fresh cucumbers & tomatoes with basil….Divine indeed.

I encourage all newcomers to the Island to explore  the various yams, and you will learn  that there are several different types as well. The food in Jamaica is good when one is creative.

Yam in pot
Yam Unpeeled
Yam Cooked


  • 3 lbs. Yam Teaspoon
  • Salt or a small piece Salt fish (cod fish)


  1. Put gloves on your hand as touching raw can will irritate the skin and cause it to itch.  If you do not have gloves rub oil on your hands.
  2. Boil water in pot on a high fire.
  3. Peel the skin off the yam. The peel should be approximately ¼ inch
  4. Cut yam in small serving portions
  5. Rinse the pieces in cold water.
  6. Place the salt or salt fish in the boiling water
  7. Add the pieces of yam
  8. Cook for approximately 32 minutes until tender
  9. Serve warm