One of my go-to default dinners is a stuffed sweet potato. As a single gal, I’ve come to appreciate their versatility. They’re a blank slate for whatever I have in the fridge. They come in a variety of colors, each with their own unique flavor and texture. I love the purple skinned, white fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes called Murasaki. They’re starchier, sweeter and have a chestnut-like flavor. Here, I’ve gone the savory route with crispy mushrooms and ground meat, a crunchy salad and lots of chili oil.
Slicing the sweet potatoes in half and roasting them cut-side down means they cook in less time. More surface area = crispier edges. While they bake, brown your choice of meat and mushrooms in a skillet. This is my new favorite combo whether I’m making meatballs, lettuce wraps or burgers. Topped with a fresh and crunchy celery and scallion salad inspired by Chinese tiger vegetable salad, these stuffed sweet potatoes are all about texture.
- 4 small sweet potatoes, (any color) halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil such as Brightland Alive Olive Oil
- 2 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1/ 4 cup rough chopped cilantro, mint and/or chives, plus more for topping
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar such as Eden Brown Rice Vinegar
- 3/ 4 pound ground meat (such as pork, lamb, turkey or beef)
- 3/ 4 teaspoon Fly by Jing Mala Spice, or your favorite spice blend
- 1/ 2 pound crimini, shiitake or oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Toasted Sesame seeds, for topping
- Crunchy chili oil for topping such as Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp
Heat oven to 400F. Drizzle sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, cut-side down, and bake for about 20 minutes until fork-tender.
While the potatoes bake, in a medium bowl combine green parts of scallions, celery, herbs and rice vinegar. Season with salt. Set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground meat, season with Mala spice (or your favorite spice blend), salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up any large pieces with a spoon, until meat is brown and crisp, about 5-8 minutes. Add mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes, undisturbed, until mushrooms start to release their moisture, adding more oil if needed. Continue to cook until mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the white parts of the scallion. Season with more spice mix, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
To assemble sweet potatoes: For each serving, place 2 sweet potatoes halves, cut side up, on a plate. Top with mushroom mixture and celery salad. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, a drizzle of chili oil and more herbs, if desired.