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Daigaku Imo-A Delicious Japanese Sweet Potato Treat

Updated on December 29, 2014
daigaku imo
daigaku imo

My favorite sweet potato dish

My mother is simply crazy about sweet potatoes. In fact, she used to have a basket of baked steamed sweet potatoes lying on the kitchen counter at least twice a week for many years so it's not surprising that's it's become one of my family's favorite things to eat. In Japanese cuisine, we use the sweet potato for a variety of dishes ranging from simple baked potatoes ( a typical vendor food during fall ) to using them in pies. But my favorite sweet potato dish is something called Daigaku Imo.

A great alternative to yams as a side dish

Daigaku Imo is a deep-fried sweet potato dish that's very popular in Japan. It's sweet and slightly savory which makes it appealing to people of all ages. Although they are usually eaten as a snack, they also make a great alternative to the typical side dish of yams for special occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. These are also perfect on the buffet table because they taste good even when cold. For best results, just make sure you get the excess starch out by placing them in water for at least 5 minutes before cooking to ensure that they turn out crispy. Although the original recipe does not call for cinnamon, I think it works and makes it taste even better.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20

Total Time: 40

Serves: 4


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder


  1. Cut the sweet potatoes into matchstick sizes.
  2. Put the potato sticks into a bowl of water and leave it for 5 minutes. Take the potatoes out and dry well with a paper towel.
  3. Heat the oil on medium high or to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  4. Put the potato sticks into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Drain the potatoes on a paper towel.
  5. Finish cooking the rest of the potatoes.
  6. Combine sugar, water, soy sauce and vinegar into a saucepan and cook on medium heat stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
  7. Put the potatoes into a big bowl. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and shake to evenly coat.
  8. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and cinnamon if desired.
  9. Best served hot.

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Everyday Harumi
Everyday Harumi

This is Harumi's first English cookbook and it's a good one. 70 of her favorite Japanesese are included. Not only are they delicious, but they are authentic in every way.



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What did you think of this recipe? Please feel free to leave your comments.

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    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ecogranny: Hi Grace. Yes, soaking them in water will definitely help make them crispy.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh my, those look so yummy. We love to make sweet potato fries in the oven, and I don't have a deep fryer. Do you think that soaking them in water would help them crisp up more in the oven as well? Thank you for sharing your recipe and your story. I so much enjoy learning from you about the foods of Japan.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @LiteraryMind: Oh yes. These are so good.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @tonyleather: Oh they truly are delicious. And they taste great even when cold.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @lesliesinclair: Well I'm glad you are Papier. I hope you get a chance to try some of them.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Diana Wenzel: I hope you try them out. This is one of my favorites.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Lady Lorelei: These are delicious Ladymermaid. Of course they are different in that they are sweeter than normal sweet potato fries which make it even better!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VinnWong: these are totally yum

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Brite-Ideas: oh yes. sweet potatoes are incredibly nutritious.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This like a snack that would be hard to stop eating.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 4 years ago

      Never heard of these before, but they sound fantastic!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Maybe I've a little Japanese in my bloodstream because I'm interested in all these recipes you're sharing.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing another fabulous recipe.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I love sweet potatoes but have never tried them as fries. This is becoming very popular in restaurants here in Canada so it is definitely on my list of things to do.

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 4 years ago

      This looks great! I love having these!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      these look fantastic - was just watching a show the other day on how sweet potatoes are a good choice for healthy eating