Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes or topinambur are root vegetables that can be a gut-friendly alternative to white potatoes. This sunchoke recipe is my favorite way to prepare and eat them. Sunchokes naturally contain inulin, a dietary fiber that makes them a great addition to a healthy diet.
Prebiotic fiber in a skillet
Although a newer addition to my diet, my dad tells me he used to eat them raw when he was a kid. Sunchokes are infamous for their gassy effect, and some people avoid them for this reason. In my experience, it’s the dose that makes the difference.
So, if you wonder how to cook sunchokes to avoid gas, I say start slowly and don’t eat them raw at first. If you eat them for the first time, do it on the weekend, and limit your intake to a small quantity (like one medium tuber) to see how they affect you. Also, give them another try, as your body will get used to this type of fiber.
More recently, I discovered a little trick that can help with gas and bloating when eating sunchokes. After you finish your meal, chew on a few fennel seeds. It works for me. When I do this, I have absolutely no problem.
How to clean sunchokes?
Scrub them really well with a vegetable brush, in cold water. Cut all the black eyes and parts that are not smooth and pat dry them before slicing and cooking. If you feel some of the skin should be removed, you can use a vegetable peeler.
How to cook sunchokes?
I like to add sunchokes to soups and stews, but my favorite way to cook sunchokes is to slice them and shallow fry them in a skillet.
- Scrub and wash the sunchokes, and cut all the black eyes on the surface. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Slice them with a mandolin (position 2 – not too thin and not too thick).
- Heat a combination of oil and ghee in a skillet (preferably a cast iron) on medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the sunchokes and the thyme leaves and let cook while occasionally stirring to make sure they are all coated with oil and cooked (there’ll be sitting on top of each other, but if you stir well every 2 minutes or so they all get cooked evenly). Don’t worry if some get caramelized; they’ll add more depth of flavor to the dish.
- To make this sunchoke breakfast skillet, add the egg to the skillet and cook, salt and pepper, sprinkle dry parsley, add the avocado and lime and serve straight from the skillet if you wish.
The best for this dish is to use a cast iron pan or an enameled cast iron, and I used Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron.
How do sunchokes taste?
Sunchokes taste similar to potatoes but are more flavorful, and slightly sweet. They develop a great sweet, earthy flavor when cooked this way. Sunchokes are the perfect lectin-free replacement for potatoes but deliver more nutritional benefits.
How to eat sunchokes
Other than serving them as a breakfast, with eggs and avocado, sunchokes make a great side dish. You can have oven-roasted sunchokes, although I’ll have to be honest, it is not my favorite way to cook them. I love to add them to stews, and soups, and even throw a few in the pan, mixed with other vegetables when I roast chicken. I also love to make them really crispy in a skillet and add them as a crispy side for burgers.
Where do you find sunchokes?
In the past seven years, I have lived in Dallas, Denmark, and Romania, and I could always easily find sunchokes. They were available in both grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Don’t forget they are also called Jerusalem artichokes, in case you can’t find them by the name sunchokes.
Another sunchoke recipe
Try the Falafel Three Way with Cauliflower, Sunchokes and Parsnip for another recipe with sunchokes.
This sunchoke recipe is part of The Ultimate Lectin-Free Breakfast Guide, Recipe Round-Up. Check it out for more tasty and satisfying lectin-free breakfast ideas.
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Sunchokes Breakfast Skillet
A delicious, complete lectin-free breakfast packed with prebiotic fiber, healthy fats and protein. Great way to start the day.
- 4 medium sunchokes
- Avocado Oil + Ghee for frying (as much as to generously cover the pan) OR extra virgin olive oil
- one pasture-raised egg
- 1/2 avocado
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- dry parsley
- 1/2 lime
Scrub and wash the sunchokes, and cut all the black eyes on the surface. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Slice them with a mandolin (I used position 2 - not too thin and not too thick).
Heat the oil and ghee in a skillet (I used an enameled cast iron - Le Creuset) on medium heat.
Once the oil is hot add the sunchokes and the thyme and let cook while stirring occasionally to make sure they are all coated with oil and cooked (there'll be sitting on top of each other but if you stir well every 2 minutes or so they all get too cooked in the end). The process will take about 10 minutes. When they are almost ready, make some space on the pan, add more ghee if the pan looks dry, and add an egg. It will be ready in about 3 minutes, depending on how you want your egg cooked.
Add salt and pepper, sprinkle dry parsley, add the avocado and lime and serve straight from the skillet if you wish.
My skillet is pretty small (9in) so if you want a bigger breakfast you will need to use a bigger one.