If you are looking for a sumptuous and elegant dessert this autumn, try this Japanese sweet potato and persimmon salad. Persimmon, sweet potato, walnuts, and maple syrup all tie in flavours of the fall season. And they are served in a light and refreshing yogurt sauce.
This beautiful Japanese dish is so tasty and really easy to put together. It makes a wonderful, light dessert to serve after a Thanksgiving meal. Or just a treat for any time.
How to know when a persimmon is ripe
A persimmon is one of those fruits that is sweet and delicious when ripe, but astringent and sour when unripe. This is because it is full of tannins. Luckily it's quite easy to tell when it is ready to be eaten. An unripe persimmon is quite hard. A fully ripe persimmon will be so soft that it will seem as if the flesh might burst.
For this recipe, it is highly recommended to use a persimmon that is slightly under ripe. The fruit will feel soft, but not quite squishy. This way it will still be very sweet, but the flesh will still be firm enough to be diced.
To ripen a persimmon, just leave it out at room temperature. It can take a long time (up to two weeks!) if they are quite hard when you purchase them, so you may wish to speed it up by storing it in a paper bag with an apple. The apple will emit ethylene fumes, which quickens the ripening process (three to six days). Check them often to make sure you don't overdo it for this recipe.
How to make Japanese sweet potato and persimmon salad
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into a large dice. The pieces should be roughly a centimetre and a half, or larger or smaller if you prefer. Boil the sweet potato pieces in water over medium heat until they are tender, then drain the water out of the pot.
Reduce the heat to low to prevent charring, and roast the sweet potato pieces on the bottom of the dry pot for a few minutes; stirring occasionally to remove excess water. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the sweet potato to cool to room temperature.
Peel and dice your persimmon. You will want the pieces to be roughly the same size as you cut the sweet potato.
Mixing together Japanese persimmon and sweet potato salad
In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, Japanese mayonnaise, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper. (Although western mayonnaise is quite different than the Japanese kind, for this recipe it can be used as a substitute if necessary.) Stir in the persimmon and cooled sweet potato.
Gently fold in the walnut pieces. Another popular addition to this type of salad is raisins; so feel free to add them if you like.
Your beautiful, autumn dessert salad is now ready to be served. You can present it in one large serving plate to share, or portion it into individual serving dishes. This recipe serves two generous portions.
You can make this dessert a breeze to serve after dinner by preparing ahead of time: pre-cook the sweet potato pieces and have the sauce already mixed. Then all you have to do is cut up the persimmon and mix it all together. Perfect for entertaining guests!
If you enjoyed this Japanese persimmon dish, you are sure to like this one as well: Japanese persimmon shiraae. A stunning appetizer featuring a salad of tofu, sesame, spinach, and pieces of juicy persimmon; served in a persimmon bowl. This dish is lovely for serving at the beginning of an autumn meal.Print
This sumptuous, Japanese dessert salad is both beautiful and delicious. Persimmon, sweet potato, and walnuts celebrate the autumn season in a light, refreshing yogurt sauce.
1 persimmon (150 g) *
½ sweet potato (100 g)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Japanese mayonnaise **
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
Peel the sweet potato and cut into a large dice, about 1.5cm. Boil in hot water in a pot over medium heat until tender. Drain the water. Reduce heat to low to prevent charring, and roast sweet potato pieces in the dry pot for a few minutes; stirring occasionally to remove excess water. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Peel and dice the persimmon to the same size pieces as the sweet potato.
In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Stir in the persimmon and sweet potato.
Gently fold in the walnut pieces (and raisins, if using). Serve immediately.
* For this recipe, the persimmon should be almost ripe (soft to the touch) but not fully ripe (squishy).
** Japanese mayonnaise is quite different than the western kind. However, in this recipe the western variety can be used as a substitute if you can't get the Japanese kind.
Keywords: Japanese sweet potato and persimmon salad, Japanese dessert