Daigaku Imo is a popular Japanese snack made from sweet potatoes. Its name translates to “university potato,” supposedly because it was a popular snack among university students in the early 20th century. The snack gained popularity for its affordability and energy-boosting properties.
These Candied Sweet Potatoes are typically deep-fried and coated with a sweet syrup made from sugar and soy sauce, giving me the perfect blend of crunch and sweetness. It’s like a street party in my mouth!
Apart from being a beloved street food, this Japanese sweet potato dessert is also a popular treat in Japanese festivals and celebrations, like Shichi-Go-San, a celebration of children’s growth.
The Daigaki Imo recipe is easy and simple. However, I’m not a fan of deep-fry dishes, so baked these Japanese sweet potatoes instead. Here’s how to cook Daigaku Imo Candied Sweet Potatoes:
Easy Daigaku Imo – Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 2 medium-sized Japanese sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin sweet rice wine
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Wash the sweet potatoes carefully and cut them into bite-sized pieces or wedges. Don't peel the skin.
- In a large bowl, combine salt and water, and fully soak the sweet potato pieces for about 30 minutes. This helps to remove excess starch and ensures a crispier texture when baked.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Set aside.
- Drain and pat dry the sweet potato pieces.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with vegetable oil to coat evenly. This helps sweet potatoes more brown and crisp.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they are in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are golden and crispy, turning them halfway through for even cooking.
- Once the sweet potatoes are baked, transfer them to a bowl. Pour the prepared sauce over the baked sweet potatoes and gently toss to coat evenly.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the glazed sweet potatoes for added flavor and texture.