Yoshizen's Blog

Yamakake — Delicacy only for Japanese



——– (Soft-yam from Jamaica.  This 2.5″ thick  3″ long (6cm x 7.5 cm)

——— piece will make enough Tororo  for two persons)

What is Yamakake or Tororo ?

It is a kind of cooking with a special source made out of root-vegetable

called Tororo, and Yamakake is a type of Sashimi eaten with this source.

This root vegetable was botanically called Dioscorea, commonly known as 

Soft-Yam or Sweet-Yam which spread most of the hot countries and there

said to be over 600 species, and normally eaten boiled, like a Potato.


In Japan they are called Naga-imo, Yama-imo, Jinen-jo and in medieval time

they said to be eaten boiled as well (described in a story “Imo-gayu”) though,

now they are cooked only for Tororo and make Yamakake Sashimi.

(Yet in Osaka area, small amount of Tororo was added for Okonomi-yaki and

the Tororo Soba also exists but not very popular.)

Sometime, I cook Sashimi of tuna in Yamakake style, when I got Soft-yam.

What makes Tororo unique is = in the world, only the Japanese eat it raw.

Raw mean just grated it to make slimy juice !   Sound yummy isn’t it !  😀

(In love with such slimy texture, Japanese eat Okura also raw —— just

sliced and mixed with Katsuo-bushi and Soy-source !  = Yummy again.  🙂 )


So that, Japanese has specially designed Grater (Photo left) called

Oroshi-gane (to make Daikon-Oroshi etc. Oroshi of Yama-imo is a Tororo).

To England, Soft-yam comes from Jamaica etc. even from France though,

seemingly it depends on the soil it grows, if it contains such as lots of iron,

it changes the color darker by oxidation and not nice for Yamakake.  😦

(Trouble is, we only discover it after cooked.  :-D)


After grated, concentrated Dashi with Soy-source and a raw egg  was mixed.  

This raw source / Tororo was served on the Sashimi / raw fish =

So that,  it makes a tasty Yamakake.  Wow !

Purist prefer to put pure Tororo for Yamakake though, I mixed it with

Dashi, Soy-source and raw egg to make it like Tororo-jiru for Tororo-gohan.  

And it is advisable to put small fragment of Lime skin (Yuzu or Kunenbo in

an authentic Japanese cooking ) to Tororo, and eat it together with some

Nori dried Sea-weed) on top.     Or, some Wasabi is good additive though,

it’s better to chose either Nori or Wasabi to keep a flavour not conflicting. 

Yamakake(3)A09A1871Though, eat a fish raw, is a bit

tricky business in the west.  

So, I found a frozen salmon pack

which was made in an automated 

process without having touched by

a man’s hand (or least touched)

seems to be a safer choice.

(it comes from Lidl)

And in the same reason, I used to buy 

a packed raw tuna from Tesco though, 

after the price of tuna rocketed, I couldn’t find them any more.

= So, this time I made a Yamakake of Salmon here.

The taste and it’s texture, melt in the mouth is an exquisite to us !

—– But, I wouldn’t say “Try” to you at all.  ( You better look away.  ;-))

(So far, no westerner ever touched this = it’s exclusively for Japanese)

Thence, I prepared and stocked-up only for myself for coming new-year.  

Bon appetite to me.   😀


PS :  I asked my Chinese friend  Shing Lee  how they eat Yam, as I saw

Chinese shop also selling Soft-yam.

So, he sent me the information and the photos.


The Yam is called 山药 or 淮山 in Chinese. It both grows in

wild at high mountains and man-grown in the field.

Normally, we have two methods to eat:

Chinese Yam Cooking-536-001

First, we peel it, and slit it into thin pieces, and then put it into

the hotpot, boil it with ribs.

Second, peel it and put it into the boiling oil, and fried to make

it looks like golden bullion.


I have not been able to enjoy a Sashimi or raw egg yet.

It seems your Yamakake sound great though, it is

made with raw soft-yam, raw egg and a Salmon.  🙂

Personally, I like put it into the hotpot, and drink the soup.


Thank you  Shing Lee for your contribution !




10 Responses

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  1. elenacaravela said, on December 30, 2013 at 22:35

    I am only familiar with the orange sweet potato or yam. Interesting. You appear to be a fine cook Yoshi!

    • yoshizen said, on December 30, 2013 at 23:40

      Not sure “fine” but at least keen. And I started to cook
      when I was 13 in the mountain and later I cooked for
      up to 300 people in the mountain shelter. ( being as a
      single, almost all of my life I’m cooking myself to eat 🙂 )
      It’s my life style. Thank you Elena for your kind comment.

  2. @inwatrmelonsugr said, on January 2, 2014 at 14:05

    Tororo is grated Naga-imo or Yama-imo, it really comes down to that gooey, “neba-neba” texture.

    I feel like that’s what Tororo really means.

    Natto and grated boiled Lotus roots give the same effect. And if its gooey- its good for you, they say especially as a late-evening snack or food.

    Really Neba-Neba Japanese Recipe:

    – Julianne the naga-imo
    – Cut boiled okra so you have the star shape
    – Soy sauce (or ponzu, like Yuzu flavored)
    – Top it w/ bonito flakes or Sea weed if your a vegetarian
    – optional: egg white (they eat allot of raw egg in Japan huh, their eggs are better and healthier).
    ++ W/egg whites: vigorously stir ingredients together till its frothy

    Eat over rice.

    Its light and subtle in flavor but refreshing; it leaves your belly feeling full for longer. So healthy!

    • yoshizen said, on January 2, 2014 at 14:30

      What a surprise to have a support !
      Thank you very much. —– aren’t you the same lady who wrote a story having an art-event in a disused
      big building somewhere in US more than 2 years ago?
      On that time I noticed something different about you
      = are you related to the Japanese ?

  3. Patricia said, on March 28, 2015 at 23:32

    You said that no Westerner loves Yamakake – you are totally wrong. My mother turned me on to it and now I make it for my friends. So … look out soon all of us “westerners” are going to be ordering Yamakake at the sushi bar!

    • yoshizen said, on March 29, 2015 at 03:56

      Thank you Patricia. So far, only one more person has mentioned eating a
      “Neba-neba cooking” about two years ago = the rareness is such that.
      I wonder, neba-neba (slimey) is becoming buzz word ?

  4. mindy said, on November 30, 2015 at 06:18

    I LOVE yamakake though some sushi chefs have given me a weird look when I ask if they have it. Not commonly available in the U.S. I was so interested to see the dish using yamaimo with okra; i must try that. I have been looking for raw yamaimo recipes for awhile. thanks much. Maybe in Japan it is eaten with a lot of different raw fish?

    • yoshizen said, on November 30, 2015 at 08:37

      As far as I know, not all the fish could make a good Yamakake but for Tuna (and Salmon).
      Finely chopped Okra or shredded Yamaimo could make nice taste still the grated
      Yamaimo (= Tororo) would make unique cooking = class of its own.
      Thank you for visiting here.

  5. Yves Seban said, on May 13, 2016 at 12:13

    Chinese cuisine makes soup with everything.
    I like Tororo in all different ways as you describe. So not only for Japanese people but also for Nihon ryori lovers. It can be great with Uni or make a slimy bowl and add natto and quail egg. Luxurious with Maguro sashimi or simple with nori strips soy and wasabi. Excellent and healthy. As other comments mention its darkish with boiled okra. Western palate must familiarize with slimy textures as I feel they have a sort of cleansing effect on all organs, etc.

    • yoshizen said, on May 13, 2016 at 13:48

      Thank you very much visiting here. (In fact, this post might be one of the most
      popular post in Yoshizen. 🙂
      I can see you are a funatic of Nihon Ryori specialised in slimy collection. Good !
      So, how about Kon-nyaku = it’s becoming very popular with its healthy context.
      We Japanese is not necessary conscious (worrying about) health issue = eat what we
      like — Still in the end of the day, it gave us having best longevity in the world.
      = presuming, not just some ingredient, but their combination etc must make the Good.
      (So, that’s how we can survive Earthquake, Tsunami, Vilcano,even Nuke )

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