Yaki Imo: Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes – Better than Roasted Chestnuts
There’s one thing extremely cozy about roasted issues within the winter time. The mix of fireplace and warmth and chilly can’t be beat. It might be marshmallows, toasty roasted chestnuts, or my final, Japanese candy potatoes. Roasted Japanese candy potatoes, or, yaki imo, as they’re identified in Japan, are the last word winter road meals. Very similar to the recent roasted chestnuts which might be bought by distributors within the streets in Europe and America, you will discover yaki imo hawkers promoting splendidly fluffy, scorching, addictive candy potatoes on the streets of Japan.
The primary time Mike and I went to Tokyo within the wintertime I didn’t know what was up with all of the random candy potato issues that had been round. I knew that Japanese individuals had a factor for seasonal candy and snacks but it surely appeared like overkill. There have been candy potato chips, candy potato pastries, candy potato desserts, candy potato candies, candy potato breads, candy potato caramel corn, candy potato kitkat, heck, there was even candy potato ice cream within the freezers on the 7-11!
I believe I attempted some candy potato chips and that was about it. It wasn’t till later, after we flew again house, that I began questioning what the factor was with candy potatoes in Japan. I did slightly google dive after which lived in remorse as a result of Japanese candy potatoes are a giant deal. However they’re additionally type of type of not a giant deal too as a result of everybody in Japan has grown up consuming them as treats in wintertime so that they take them as a right. They’re an excellent nostalgic meals, type of like our equal of gingerbread, if gingerbread was a vegetable and it was bought on road corners.
Yaki imo are extremely beloved. So beloved that they even promote a single use equipment devoted to roasting candy potatoes. It’s ridiculously cute and if it wasn’t so singular in it’s talents, I might completely need one. Who am I kidding? I completely need one however received’t let myself go that far as a result of it’s so costly and an oven will do precisely the identical factor.
Anyway, after my google search, I used to be bought. I knew that if I used to be ever again in Tokyo once more within the fall or winter, I might eat yaki imo. And what’s extra, I might purchase it from a yaki imo truck. Old skool yaki imo sellers have vans with a crimson lantern and a stone oven. The potatoes are roasted and saved scorching within the oven and the drivers drive round slowly whereas enjoying a track (type of a creepy track, to be sincere) that sings “yaki imo, yaki imo” over and over. I used to be decided to discover a truck. In fact, we didn’t discover a truck that journey. You do see them every now and then right here and there, however they’re increasingly uncommon.
As a substitute, we purchased our yaki imo from slightly store with the cutest previous girl that bought nothing however completely different forms of roasted candy potatoes. It was the tiniest storefront ever, tucked in between new buildings in a type of business-y space in Tokyo. The imo had been simply hanging out in a glass heater, ready for individuals to come back alongside and purchase them. I shyly requested for a small one and handed over some change however the candy potato girl should’ve identified it was my first time or one thing as a result of she smiled at me and picked out the plumpest potato, popped it right into a paper bag and advised me to take pleasure in it.
It was an extremely chilly day and the yaki imo was good and toasty and even earlier than consuming it I felt so cozy. You understand that feeling you get whenever you’re in a second and also you simply know you’ll look again on it fondly? That was me: simply me and Mike bundled up in our winter coats, a scorching candy potato in my hand, on the streets of Tokyo. It was what candy potato desires are fabricated from. I peeled again the purplish-red pores and skin of the potato and the golden yellow insides had been steamy and smelled faintly of caramel. One chew and I used to be hooked. It was candy and creamy and comforting. It was a candy potato in it’s purest type, however made even higher by gradual roasting it to deliciousness.
Even if you happen to haven’t been to Japan, you don’t must go on a wild goose chase to have yaki imo. You may make a reasonably good approximation at house. Simply search for Japanese candy potatoes on the grocery retailer. Our native specialty retailer flew in a cargo straight from Japan and Mike kindly purchased me a single potato (it was too costly however cheaper than a flight to Tokyo he stated) however they promote Japanese selection candy potatoes on the retailer too. Oh, and if you happen to’re fortunate sufficient to be in Tokyo within the fall or winter, preserve an eye fixed out for the yaki-imo vans, or pop on by to a grocery retailer or perhaps a Donki – they promote yaki imo in all places as a result of they’re simply that good.
Comfortable candy potato-ing!
PS – We watched Aggretsuko We Want You a Metallic Christmas on Christmas and it was too cute and humorous. Simply wished to share 🙂
Yaki Imo at House Recipe
makes as many as wanted
- candy potatoes, Satsuma imo Japanese selection most well-liked
Warmth the oven to 350°F. Scrub your candy potatoes and dry nicely. Place the potatoes immediately on the rack (put a tray or some foil beneath to catch any potential drips) and bake till very tender and cooked by way of, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Let cool barely then peel away the pores and skin and luxuriate in as is!
Notes: They promote satsuma imo on the grocery retailer, they’ve purplish-red pores and skin and are white on the within. After roasting the flesh turns a vibrant yellow.