Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Botanical name: Dioscorea opposita

Chinese name: Huai Shan

I planted the Dioscorea opposita in January 2015 and left it in a green plastic pot until today. The yield is not great (just over a kilo) but considering it was put aside almost totally neglected, I'm keen to grow this again with more TLC.

In China, Huai Shan tuber is a sought after product because of its claimed medicinal benefits. I grow this for my stir-fries, especially nice in soups. I find the colour of the creamy white flesh more appealing than the purple flesh of the dioscorea alata.

Dioscorea alata (purple yam) below:

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That does look more appealing than the purple Alata Janet. I don't think I could come at eating that one again though it has ensconced itself happily in my backyard. Is it slimey like the purple?

yes Lisa. This white one is slimy.


I had grated purple slime for tea in a sort of gumbo with coconut and poached meatballs...But white slime would be great!

Slime is a brave new culinary world...

but hey! You ain't seen slime until you've pealed  up your Asian Dioscoreas.... Then there's also slime according to Frank Zappa:

We need to get Dave some white slime :/ All yours Dave.

Where did you originally get the Dioscorea opposita ? I haven't come upon it in my shoppings..and I;'m keen to grow the yam..

The tubers are sometimes available in Chinese or Vietnamese grocery shops. I can bring some to a GV or you can send me a personal message and pick it up.

Well I'll make a point of looking for the yam. I mainly rely on Fortitude Valley suppliers, the Formosa in the CBD, the Dixon Street Mkts in Morayfield (very 'yam friendly' because of the Pacific Islander patronage)   and the Caboolture Sunday Mkts. Maybe I've  passed it and assumed it was cassava.

But if it's out there I'll find it.

I grow the purple and use it as soup thickener. Goes great in a gumbo too. Slimy ++++. You need to grate or scrape it as the Vietnamese do. You can use it like you'd sometimes  use Okra.

Very useful yam -- Dioscorea alata -- although the ugliest thing ever to land on my chopping board.

Maybe...just maybe....I'll dig up some alata and try it out in soup.


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