My mum loves Japanese sweet potatoes as they are naturally very sweet and tasty. When we visited Tokyo, I brought her to try the local candied sweet potatoes. This Japanese confection has a very special name called 'daigaku imo'. ‘Daigaku’ means university /college, while ‘imo’ means potato.
It’s very easy to make at home actually. In fact, you don’t need exact measurement.
Candied Japanese Sweet Potatoes / Daigaku Imo ・大学いも
3 satsuma imo (Japanese sweet potates) (about 400 g)
3 TBsp sugar
1.5 TBsp water
1 tsp shouyu (Japanese light soy sauce)
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds, toasted
cooking oil for deep-fry
1. Wash the sweet potatoes. With skin on, cut in rotating rolling wedges. Immediately soak them in a big bowl of tap water for 5 ~ 10 minutes.
2. Drain well and wipe off moisture thoroughly with paper towel. Heat oil under medium heat*, deep fry the sweet potatoes till cooked, i.e. can easily insert through by a skewer or a chopstick. Retrieve and transfer the sweet potatoes on kitchen paper.
3. Over medium-low heat, stir the sugar, water and shouyu in a saucer pan till it becomes some thicken syrup. Remove from heat. At the same time, mix in the sweet potatoes to coat with the caramelised syrup. Sprinkle toasted black sesame seeds.** Let cool, serve and enjoy.
* Avoid deep-fry in overly high heat, it will render the outer wedges turn very brownish but the inner part yet uncooked.
** Need not to sprinkle too much of sesame seeds, used here 1/2 tsp. Both taste and look wise, the focus should be on the sweet potatoes, not the sesame seeds.
When cool, the syrup would somewhat lightly cystallised coating each sweet potato wedges. Just delicious. Me and my parents can't help but munched down the whole plate of these daigaku imo while watching the afternoon news.