Nigerian yam and eggs recipe made with succulent boiled yam and fried eggs garnished with vegetables and sardines. Yam is highly nutritious, filling and contains less starch than potatoes.
Boiled yam and fried eggs is a common breakfast choice in Nigerian homes. Yam is a popular staple in West African countries which means lots of yam are planted annually to meet this demand. According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria accounted for about 70 percent of the world’s production amounting to 17 million tonnes from land area 2,837,000 hectares under yam cultivation. Yams have a distinct brown skin and can be white, yellow, purple, or pink inside depending on the type of yam and maturity.
For me as a kid, boiled yam and fried eggs is a family favourite, we have it as a treat most Sunday mornings. Also, growing up as a kid I used to believe that this combination is meant for the privileged, so there is always a feeling of delight whenever it’s on the menu. These days, there is even more of a feeling of satisfaction whenever I am able to get my hands on a tuber of yam; as living abroad means most of Nigerian staples are imported, hence the are scarce.
Are yam tubers healthy?
According to Healthline, Yams are not only an excellent source of fibre but also high in potassium and manganese, which are important for supporting bone health, growth, metabolism, and heart function. This succulent tuber also provides decent amounts of other micronutrients, such as copper and vitamins which makes this Nigerian yam and fried eggs recipe perfect!
Ingredients in this recipe
Yam, eggs, onion, scotch bonnet (or chilli pepper), tomatoes, sardines, cooking oil, sugar and salt to taste. The egg itself can be fried with just a pinch of salt, but Nigerian style fried eggs will need some vegetables in it. Sardines is optional and can be subbed for corned beef or shrimps.
How to make Nigerian yam and fried eggs
Though this recipe is very simple and easy to follow, the key is to measure the ingredients in the right quantity.
How to boil yam
Boiling yam is the simplest way of cooking yam compared to roasted yam and fried yam; all you have to do is slice the yam, peel the skin off and cook in water.
- Slice yam tuber with a sharp knife. Yam should be sliced from the tip which is usually the softest end.
- Peel yam with a knife. If the yam is cut into round slices, it can easily be peeled by holding a slice on one palm and gently going round while peeling the skin off with a knife on the other hand. This is the best method to peel yam especially if you don’t plan to eat it all at once. Yam can also be peeled by sitting the base on a firm surface pointing upwards, then slicing skin off with a knife in vertical strips. This is the common method used by food vendors as it is faster.
- Place each slice of yam in cold water. This is very important to keep the slices from getting brown and dry.
- Rinse the yam under cold water and toss in a saucepan. Add 400mls of water and season with sugar (optional) and salt to taste. 400mls of water should cook about 800g-1kg of yam, so add more water accordingly.
- Boil for about 20-25mins at high-medium heat. Check halfway to ensure that water hasn’t dried out. Once the yam is cooked, drain out any excess water so the yam doesn’t get too soft and sticky.
How to make Nigerian-style fried eggs
Eggs can be fried by just cracking and tossing in hot cooking oil, but Nigeria-style fried eggs needs a lot more finessing; hence, why it is tastier and more sumptuous. I learnt this recipe from my mum while I was still a kid and it has stuck with me to date.
- Crack 4 eggs in a mixing bowl and garnish with sliced tomatoes, onions and scotch bonnet.
- Add shredded sardines (or corned beef or shrimps), salt and stock cubes and mix together with a fork or whisk. 4 eggs are enough for 1 or 2 serves.
- Place a non-stick frying pan on the hob over medium heat and add 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil. Let the oil heat up for about 2mins before tossing the egg batter in. I used the sunflower oil from the sardine can, which means I didn’t have to use extra oil.
- Fry for 3-4mins or until golden brown around the edges. Flip and fry for another 2-3mins.
Another trick for a perfectly fried egg is to add a little bit of water with the the oil before tossing the egg in. See video below for visual guidance.
Can you freeze cooked yam?
Yes. To freeze cooked yam, let it cool down completely and store in a sealable freezer bag or lidded plastic container. Freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw and microwave at hight heat for 3-4mins. The longer the yam is frozen for, the more it loses its taste and texture. You can also refrigerate cooked yam in the coldest part of the fridge for up to 5 days.
Utensils and tools in this recipe
Frequently asked questions about
Why is boiled yam soggy?
Boiled yam can become soggy or mushy if too much water is added to it or if water left from cooking isn’t drained out after the yam is ready.
To avoid this, you can add water little by little if you’re not sure of the right amount to add from the start, but usually about 400mls is enough for 800g of yam.
How to preserve leftover uncooked yam?
It is hard to preserve yam once sliced open, so the best way is to use leftover yam as soon as possible to avoid fungi spreading all over it. Usually, after yam is sliced open, it can only last a few days before going stale.
To slow down the process, cover the remaining yam with clingfilm and store in a cool place or under room temperature.
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