Sweet Potato Rice Grits
A Note from Feedfeed

This recipe comes to us from James Beard Award winning Chef JJ Johnson and his NYC-based restaurants Fieldtrip, which celebrates rice in its many delicious forms and how rice shapes cultures around the world. In honor of Black History Month, Fieldtrip is featuring a special dish of King Crab with Sweet Potato Rice Grits to remind us that rice is the staple food of Black culture in America and abroad. Here, Chef JJ uses Carolina Gold rice grits, a variety of rice with a gold-hued husk, brought to South Carolina by way of the transatlantic slave trade that became almost extinct until the 1980s through renegerative efforts. We are honored to share this recipe and part of its history with our audience, and encourage you to follow Chef JJ and his restaurants for exciting, delicious adventures.

This recipe is part of our feature highlighting Black History Month 2023! Follow along throughout the month to catch more incredible recipes from Black food content creators and chefs to learn a little more about the history of Black foodways and traditions. 


Prep time 15mins
Cook time 45mins
Serves or Makes: 4 servings


For the Grits

  • 2 cups Carolina Gold rice grits
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup coconut milk mixture (recipe follows)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

For the Coconut Milk Mixture (makes about 3 1/2 cups)

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/ 2 cup cardamom pods
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 12 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon ground mace
  • Zest of 2 oranges

Make the Coconut Milk Mixture


  • Step 1

    Add all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes, then strain.

Make the Sweet Potato Puree


  • Step 1

    Add sweet potatoes to a medium pot of boiling water and cook until tender. Blend until completely smooth.

Make the Carolina Gold Rice Grits


  • Step 1

    In a separate sauce pot, bring 3 cups water and 1 cup strained coconut milk mixture to boil. Stir the grits into the boiling water/coconut milk and season with salt. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the rice is almost tender, about 20 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Once the rice is almost tender, add sweet potato puree and half the butter and stir to melt. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. Stir in remaining butter before serving.