Corned Beef Yam Balls

In Ghana yams are an everyday staple food. Majority of the time, it is boiled and served with some yummy earthy sauce like palava sauce, garden eggs abom, agushie stew or any of our well loved soups. If not boiled, it is fried and served with shito or meko and some fried fish or meat. There is however another way that it’s enjoyed but this is usually reserved for occasions such as Christmas, birthday’s, dinner parties etc. It is seen as a posh way of serving yams during such occasions. Yam balls is the name, yes even the name makes it feel posh. Yam balls are basically boiled yams which are mashed, spiced up, rolled into balls and fried. Some like it plain without any protein mix but I love it with corned beef. I have come across yam balls which weren’t coated in breadcrumbs and they tasted great. But n I love the crunch that the fresh breadcrumbs brings to it. You don’t have to use fresh breadcrumbs, dried breadcrumbs are equally good. The recipe I have provided is very basic, once you get the grip of making yam balls, be as inventive and creative with it. Try out different types of meat and vegetable mix and make it your own. Give this recipe a try and let’s have your feedback.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 560g Puna Yam (Boiled)
  • 30g Butter
  • 100g Corned Beef
  • ½ Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Spring Onions finely chopped
  • ¼ Cup Red onions finely diced
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Fresh Breadcrumbs (made from 6 slices of fresh bread)
  • 1 Egg plus 1 Egg White
  • Oil for deep frying

METHOD:

  1. Peel the yam and cut up into slices as shown in the photo. Wash the yams.
  2. Place the yams in a pot, add enough water to cover it and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Place on the hob on high heat, cover the pot and let it boil until soft. When a fork can go through the yam with less resistance, the yams are ready. Don’t over boil.
  4. Once cooked, drain the water from the yam. Mash the yams whilst still very hot.
  5. Add the butter and using a potato masher, mash the yams until nice and smooth.
  6. Add the corned beef, nutmeg, white pepper, black pepper, salt to taste, red onion and spring onions. Mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  7. Now add the egg yolk and mix well.
  8. Form bites size balls using your palms.
  9. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, include the white from the other egg. For ease of coating the yam ball, you can put the whisked eggs in a sandwich bag.
  10. Using your food processor or mill, blend the fresh bread into fine crumbs. Place the crumbs in a bowl or a sandwich bag.
  11. Roll each yam balls first in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. Ensure that each ball is well coated.
  12. Place the balls on a tray and cover with cling film to prevent them from drying out.
  13. Fill a pot with the oil, about two thirds high, enough to cover the balls and heat it up until very hot. I always use a sacrificial yam ball to test the hotness of the oil. Once this sacrificial ball has browned, the oil is ready for use.
  14. Fry the yam balls in batches ensuring that there is enough room for each ball. If the heat is too high, lower it just a little bit. Fry the balls until golden brown all round.
  15. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towels.
  16. Serve the yam balls warm as a side dish, canapés with dips or a main dished paired with salad and roasted chicken or fish.
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