I don’t cook as much Japanese food as I used to. Between my butter loaded homework assignments and dinner shifts, there’s very little room for rice in my current cooking agenda.
But sometimes we are in dire need of rice. We’re both Asian after all. So I whipped up some old school Japanese dishes, like this bowl of Daigaku Imo (candied potatoes).
The name means “college potatoes” and the name apparently stuck because it was a popular college student snack during the 1920s. Why? Probably because it’s super easy to make. I mean, like, really easy.
Normally, these are made with Japanese sweet potatoes, which are red on the outside and white in the inside. But they’re pretty good with American sweet potatoes too! Mosey on for the recipe.
Daigaku Imo – serves 4
1 large sweet potato
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
toasted sesame seeds
First, cut up your sweet potatoes into (uniform) desired shapes. Japanese sweet potatoes are skinnier than these American ones, so they are usually cut into little round-ish chunks. I made sweet potato fry cuts because these guys were ginormous. You can leave the skin on or peel it off, it’s your call, but the skin crisps up nicely and (I think) is tastier.
Soak them in water for 15 minutes, and then dry off the water.
Deep fry at 350 degrees Farenheit, until crispy. Your sweet potatoes should be dry or the water will snap right back at you… And that kinda sucks.
In a frying pan, heat the sugar, water, and soy sauce until it bubbles into a thick, caramely sauce. You can add a little bit of vinegar too, if you like. I didn’t.
Remove from heat, throw in fries and toss until evenly coated.
Sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds and nom. Now wasn’t that easy?