Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Daigaku Imo

On Kototoi dori in Asakusa, there is a charming little daigaku imo shop selling, naturally enough, daigaku imo, a  Japanese sweet potato treat, covered in a light syrup and a  staple food of festivals. This daigaku imo shop has thin sliced sweet potato chips, as well as the more conventional wedges.  It also avoids selling distractions like sweet potato puddings and cakes, and is committed to excellence in daigaku imo :)
Daigaku means university.  Imo means of the broad potato family.  University sweet potatoes?  The name apparently comes from the fact that they are common food at university festivals; sweet potatoes are  most plentiful around October the traditional festival time for  schools and universities.   I am not sure about it's history, but I assume it's food culture that originated in Manchuria as I often ate it in the North East Dumpling Restaurant in Ashfield (Sydney's Mainland Chinese Chinatown - or one of them anyway).  
We bought some and took them to a nearby park to eat them.
 There is a recipe below.


2 small sweet potatoes 
a little salt
Oil for frying
2 teaspoons black sesame

6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons mirin
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1.5 tbsp water
1. Cut sweet potato into bitesize pieces & Soak in salt water for 1o mins.
2. Put oil into a deep fry pan, add potato to room temperature oil and cook.
3. At the same time add the sugar, mirin, soy and water in a small  saucepan, heat until they thicken a bit.
4. When the sweet potato is cooked through (check with a bamboo skewer)  and has a slight brown tinge on the outside, put into a new pot.
5. Pour the syrup over the top and sprinkle black sesame seeds.

http://recipe.gourmet.yahoo.co.jp/E100204/   The recipe comes from here, it's in Japanese, but it has some pictures :)

This recipe is much better.

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