In his Instagram post promoting the virtues of oca, Andrew Zimmern shows the colorful tubers – from light yellow to maroon – frying in safflower oil in a hot pan. After frying, Zimmern said to put the oca in a 450-degree oven to finish. “Think sunchoke with a lemony finish,” Zimmern wrote in his Instagram caption. (Come on, Zimmern. This description isn’t all that helpful to people who have never heard of sunchokes. So here’s a quick primer: Often called Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are described by Serious Eats as a ginger-looking thing that grows off the roots of a certain sunflower. For what it’s worth, sunchokes’ flavor reminded Serious Eats of raw hazelnuts.)
Back to Zimmern’s Instagram caption: He goes on to describe oca as “very light and stunningly perfect for marriage with any roast or meal in a bowl. Very popular in New Zealand, deserves more use here in USA.”
Given that oca is dense with nutrients such as vitamins B and C, minerals, and fiber (via Heal with Food), it would be good if Zimmern’s latest revelation found a spot next to the potatoes and yams on American produce shelves. They sure would make a great addition to your dung beetle stew.