Sweet potatoes, a traditional ingredient of Japanese gastronomy

01/16/2024 - Introduced to Japan in the 17th century, sweet potatoes have become a popular autumn dish, thanks to their sweetness and richness in dietary fiber, vitamins and other nutrients.

The sweet potato season runs from September to November. As they are sweeter after storage than when freshly picked, they are refined for about a month after harvest before being shipped.

Some sixty varieties are grown in Japan, and are used in a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes, including :

  • Tempura: slices coated in egg and flour, then deep-fried,
  • Hoshi-imo: steamed, sliced and dried potatoes,
  • Imo-kenpi: a sweet snack made with long, thin French fries, cooked in oil and candied.
  • Yaki-imo: confectionery cooked for a long time at low temperature on hot stones. This cooking process eliminates excess water to bring out their natural sweetness. There is currently talk of a fourth yaki-imo boom.
  • Sweet potato: Western-Japanese fusion pastry made with sweet potato purée, milk, egg, granulated sugar and butter, in the shape of a sweet potato.
  • Imo-jochu: a type of alcohol that uses their natural sugars in the distillation process.

Stay tuned for more recipes from Ms. Nishikori!

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