Daigaku Imo: ‘University potato’ is a taste of sweet umami goodness

Photograph by Vida Gustafson Daigaku Imo is a well known Japanese avenue meals and ubiquitous in Japanese culture. By Vida Gustafson Contributing Author I have had such a whole lot of exciting exploring this well known Japanese road foods. When I say well-known, I do suggest well known, with iterations […]

Photograph by Vida Gustafson
Daigaku Imo is a well known Japanese avenue meals and ubiquitous in Japanese culture.

By Vida Gustafson

Contributing Author

I have had such a whole lot of exciting exploring this well known Japanese road foods. When I say well-known, I do suggest well known, with iterations from donuts to fry flavoring, and seemingly infinite homemade versions. The snack is ubiquitous in Japanese tradition.  It’s a bite sized deep fried sweet potato, candied in a sugar glaze with a contact of soy and black sesame seeds. What you close up with is crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside of tasting of sweet umami goodness and nutty, earthy sweet potato. Daigaku Imo is translated as ‘university potato,’ so referred to as since of its affiliation with college pupils at the convert of the past century.

Be certain to use a sweet potato, not orange yam. Japanese sweet potatoes are magenta or crimson on the outdoors and pale yellow or white on the inside of. I’ve been able to discover them at most grocery retailers and farmers markets in our area, especially in wintertime.

Elements

  • 2 lbs sweet potato (Murasaki, Kotobuki or Satsuma are some versions)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mirin (or 1/2 extra tbsp of sugar) 
  • 1 tsp vinegar (rice vinegar is very best)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • flaked salt, for sprinkling
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

System

Chop the sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces, around, halving lengthways first if the root is really wide. As you chop, transform the vegetable a quarter of a convert in amongst slices, making irregularly formed but equally sized pieces. This approach is named Rangiri, it’s quite beneficial in the chopping of irregularly formed veggies and makes appealing designs with heaps of area place for your sweet coating to stick to.

Soak the sweet potato in drinking water with the teaspoon of salt additional for 15 minutes.

Warmth 2 cups of peanut, sunflower or safflower oil in a hefty bottomed pot. A Dutch oven or forged iron pot will get the job done very properly. Even though your oil is heating, drain the sweet potatoes and pat them dry.

Provide the oil up to roughly 320°F, to check with out a thermometer, dip the cope with close of a picket spoon in the oil and watch for tiny bubbles to form. 

Fry the sweet potato, in batches remaining cautious not to overcrowd the pan, until eventually lightly browned. Insert a toothpick or skewer into a person to see if the sweet potato is cooked in advance of taking away the entire batch. 

A person batch will take roughly 10 minutes at a medium warmth. When every thing is fried, established aside and in a significant skillet or Dutch oven, stir with each other the h2o, sugar, mirin and vinegar, with out turning the heat on. The moment combined, established the heat to minimal/medium, increase the vinegar and soy after it starts to bubble. When it starts to bubble, transform the heat down and make it possible for to prepare dinner for 5 minutes.

Increase all the sweet potatoes and stir to coat in the sugar. Sprinkle about the sesame seeds and remove from the heat. End with flaked sea salt to taste.

Barbara J. Miriam

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