Explore significance of kaukau or Sweet Potato Mashed With Coconut Milk,a staple in PNGcuisine,highlighting its cultural importance and various cooking methods.

Explore Papua New Guinea's cuisine through kaukau, a beloved sweet potato integral to local diets. , let know preparation methods like baking and boiling, and its role as a nutritious staple in PNG dishes. 

Discover the rich traditions surrounding this essential food item.


  • 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes (kaukau)
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt to taste


Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Prepare the Sweet Potatoes: Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Prick the Potatoes: Use a fork to prick each sweet potato several times. This allows steam to escape during baking and prevents the potatoes from bursting.

Coat with Oil or Butter: Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle them with olive oil or melted butter, ensuring they are evenly coated. You can also rub the oil or butter over the potatoes with your hands for thorough coverage.

Season with Salt: Sprinkle salt over the sweet potatoes according to your taste preferences.

Bake the Sweet Potatoes: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the sweet potatoes for 45-60 minutes, or until they are tender and easily pierced with a fork. The baking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the sweet potatoes.

Serve and Enjoy: Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly. Serve them whole or sliced, and enjoy as a delicious and nutritious side dish or snack.

Feel free to adjust the seasoning and cooking time according to your preferences and the specific characteristics of the sweet potatoes you're using. Enjoy your baked kaukau!

Nutritional Values :

Sweet Potatoes (4 medium-sized):

  • Calories: 378
  • Total Fat: 0.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 157mg
  • Potassium: 1311mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 88g
  • Dietary Fiber: 14g
  • Sugars: 16g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Vitamin A: 1091% DV
  • Vitamin C: 8% DV
  • Calcium: 8% DV
  • Iron: 14% DV


Rich in Nutrients: Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to your diet.

Antioxidant Properties: They contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene, which may help protect against oxidative damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Digestive Health: The high fiber content in sweet potatoes can aid digestion and promote a healthy digestive system.

Blood Sugar Regulation: Despite their sweetness, sweet potatoes have a relatively low glycemic index, which means they can help regulate blood sugar levels and may be suitable for individuals with diabetes.

Heart Health: Consuming sweet potatoes may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease due to their potassium content and antioxidant properties.

Immune Support: The vitamins and minerals in sweet potatoes, particularly vitamin C, can support immune function and help the body fight off infections.

Weight Management: Sweet potatoes are relatively low in calories and fat while being filling and satisfying, making them a great option for those looking to manage their weight.

Olive Oil or Melted Butter (1 tablespoon):

Olive Oil:

  • Calories: 119
  • Total Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Melted Butter:

  • Calories: 102
  • Total Fat: 11.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg
  • Sodium: 92mg
  • Potassium: 3mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0.01g
  • Protein: 0.1g


Healthy Fats: Both olive oil and butter (in moderation) provide healthy fats that are essential for brain health, hormone regulation, and cell function.

Heart Health: Olive oil, in particular, is rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Antioxidants: Olive oil contains antioxidants such as polyphenols, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.

Vitamin E: Both olive oil and butter contain vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that supports skin health and immune function.

Flavor Enhancement: Olive oil and melted butter add flavor and moisture to dishes, enhancing the overall taste and texture of the baked sweet potatoes.

Salt (to taste):

  • Sodium content varies based on the amount used, typically around 2,325mg per teaspoon.


Electrolyte Balance: Salt, in moderation, is essential for maintaining proper electrolyte balance in the body, which is important for nerve function, muscle contraction, and hydration.

Flavor Enhancement: Salt enhances the flavor of foods, making them more enjoyable to eat.

Food Preservation: Salt has been used for centuries as a natural preservative to extend the shelf life of foods by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and mold.

Please note that these values are approximate and may vary depending on factors such as brand, variety, and specific preparation methods. Additionally, the values provided are based on standard nutritional databases and may not account for small variations.


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