Grated Mountain Yam (Tororo) – Two Ways

Hero shot of Grated Mountain Yam on Tuna in a bowl.

Grated Mountain Yam is a quick and delicious side dish made simply by grating a mountain yam and pouring it over an ingredient. Mountain yam is a long, slender root vegetable and when grated, it turns into something quite unexpected and unique, with a very sticky and slimy texture.

I recently posted a recipe, Sautéed Mountain Yam, in which I explained a little bit about the mountain yam varieties that Japanese people often use. You can use any of those three mountain yam varieties to make Grated Mountain Yam.

I decided to post yet another mountain yam recipe shortly after Sautéed Mountain Yam so that you can enjoy a few different dishes using mountain yam before the season is over in Australia.

Grated Mountain Yam is generically called ‘tororo‘ (とろろ) in Japanese. The word ‘tororo’ (とろろ) came from the texture of the grated yam.


Japanese people are very good at expressing sound, appearance, and texture using repeated sounds or words. It is called onomatopoeia in English. But in the case of Japanese onomatopoeia, it often uses the same sounds/words twice, which is a bit different from the English onomatopoeia. Repeated words/sounds are usually written in Katakana.

For example, ‘ting-a-ling’ or ‘jingle’ are the words for expressing the sound of a gentle bell in English. But in Japanese, it is ‘rinrin’ (リンリン or りんりん). The state of glittering is expressed as ‘giragira’ (ギラギラ or ぎらぎら) or ‘kirakira’ (キラキラ or きらきら) depending on how strongly the object is shining and sparkling. The strong sun shine in summer is ‘giragira’, and the shining stars are ‘kirakira’.

Showing sticky and slimy tororo.

Grated Mountain Yam is sticky and slimy.

When something is sticky and/or slimy, people express it as ‘torotoro’ (トロトロ …continue reading