You deserve waaaayyyyy better than meh
Instant Pot Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Credit: Photo by Kat Kinsman

Breakfast potatoes are so often a disappointment, or at least a meh spot in your morning, and I don't want to be a source of sadness or ennui to you. You deserve quality morning carbs with minimal fuss and mess, and I'm hoping this will be the key. Purple-skinned Japanese sweet potatoes—also known as Murasaki—are sweet in a different way than their orange kin, firmer, and a shade less earthy. They hold their shape admirably during steaming, enough so that a subsequent fry in that same Instant Pot chamber coaxes a glorious crisp while their insides remain pillowy. With a little salt, they'd be delicious enough, but you deserve more.

That comes in the form of fried lemon slices and herbs cooked in that very same Instant Pot, as well as a dusting of tangy sumac and lemon zest to add a spark of color to the whole golden-brown melange. And no, you don't need an Instant Pot to deliver these taters unto your life, if just makes things a little easier. A steamer and a frying pan will do just fine. Maybe even better than that.

BTW, It's Paleo. I feel almost legally obligated to mention that.

Instant Pot Crispy Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Serves as many as your Instant Pot will allow


As many roughly-cubed Japanese sweet potatoes as will fit comfortably in a slightly mounded layer in your steamer basket or foil boat
1 lemon, ends cut off and thinly sliced and deseeded
1 lemon for zesting
Fresh herbs (oregano and thyme work especially well)
Olive or avocado oil
Kosher salt (or fancier salt if you want to roll that way)


1. Cube the sweet potatoes into a size and shape that makes you happy. Precision is not important, but keep them roughly in the same size range so they cook evenly. Do not bother to peel them because you have better things to do with your time. Load these tater chunks into the steamer basket or a small boat that you have made from foil and poked all over with a knife or fork so steam can permeate. Pour ½ cup of water into the Instant Pot, seal the lid, and set it for 10 minutes at high pressure.

2. While the sweet potatoes are steaming, thinly slice one of the lemons, removing the seeds, and pick the herbs from their stems.

3. When the sweet potatoes have steamed, carefully release the pressure on the Instant Pot, dump out the water, and put the potatoes in a bowl to set aside. Pour enough oil into the Instant Pot to coat the bottom, and select the saute function. When the oil starts to shimmer, carefully add the lemon slices and herbs and stir as needed to keep them from burning. When the rinds have started to crisp, add the sweet potatoes, flipping and stirring until browned to your liking.

4. Scoop the potatoes, lemon slices, and herbs onto a plate, sprinkle with salt, sumac, and additional herb leaves as needed. Using a Microplane or zester, zest as much of the remaining lemon as you'd like over the pile, and serve.