“Satsumaimo-no-lemon-ni (Japanese Sweet Potatoes Simmered with Lemon and Sugar)” is extremely easy and quick to make. It can be served hot or cold, as side dish or dessert. It lasts about 4-5 days in a fridge.
Ingredients: 2 small Satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potatoes), 1/2 lemon, sugar and water
- Slice sweet potatoes in 1cm thick. Peel off the lemon and slice them in 5mm thick. Put them in a pod.
- Pour water over them till they are just barely covered.
- Add 2 tbsp sugar, heat and simmer till soft.
- Leave them in a pot for a while to allow the taste of lemon and sugar go into the sweet potatoes.
*When you store them in a fridge, keep them with the lemon syrup left in the pod in a container with a lid.
When they hear the English word “sweet potato”, most Japanese people think of this dessert rather than the sweet potato as a vegetable. My mom makes this dessert every autumn, and she gave us some pieces last weekend. For a long time, I thought this was a western dessert and didn’t know that it was invebted by a Japanese patissier in Tokyo during the Meiji era. Today it’s sold in many confectionary stores nationwide and widely cooked at home as well.
So here’s my mom’s recipe 🙂
300g Japanese sweet potatoes. 30g butter. 1 egg yoak (1/2 to mix with sweet potatoes, 1/2 for the surface). 3 tbsp sugar. 2-3 tbsp milk (or fresh cream), 1 tbsp whiskey (or rum).
Microwave (or steam) sweet potatoes until soft to peel, mash and strain. Add butter, sugar while the sweet potatoes are hot and mix well. Then add egg yolk, milk and whisky. Mix further. Put this sweet potato cream in foil cups, brush some egg yolk on the surface. Bake in the preheated oven (200°C) until browned.
Autumn, a time of harvest, is the best season to enjoy ‘takikomi gohan’ (seasoned rice with vegetables / fish / meat). This sweet potato rice is one of the simplest takikomi gohan that is easy to cook and tastes comforting.
When I was small, adults told me that sweet potato rice (but not like this, I imagine) was something people had to eat during the war. I always remember their story when I cook it to realize how blessed we are today.
Simply add 2 rice measuring cups (300g) of japonica rice, 5 cm of dried kelp, diced sweet potato, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of sake and water. Then cook the same as plain rice. Sprinkle sesame seeds and salt before serving.
Miso soup ideas using the ingredients in season –
Diced sweet potato, shimeji mushroom and scallion.
When I get sallions, I like to cut the whole bunch at once and store them in the freezer.
The roots go to my tiny balcony garden later to regrow 🙂
Again, simple & traditional Japanese sweets recipe. It’s called “imo-kenpi” and goes well with Japanese green tea. All you need is sweet potatoes, oil, sugar and water.
1. Prepare cold vegetable oil in a pot. Sliver sweet potatoes and put them in the pot immediately.
2. Heat the oil and deep-fry the sweet potatoes. Once they are well cooked, drain them on kitchen paper.
3. Heat sugar and water in a pan to make syrup (3-4 tbsp of sugar + the same amount of water). Put the sweet potatoes in it and mix them gently to coat with the syrup.
* I used purple sweet potatoes but any sweet potatoes will do.
When I was a child, I belonged to a Home Ec Club. And this “Chakin Shibori” (chakin=a cloth used in the tea ceremony, shibori=squeeze, twist ) was the first dessert recipe I learned there. No doubt it’s the easiest wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets)! Although its taste is quite simple, it goes very well with Japanese tea, either matcha or sencha. And it’s healthy! It’s worth trying while the sweet potatoes are in season.
1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut it into chunks.
2. Steam or microwave the chunks until tender.
3. Mush the potatoes while it’s hot. If you want, add sugar, milk, butter, macha, cinnamon powder, etc…This time, I added a tablespoon of condensed milk.
4. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mashed potato onto the cloth or plastic wrap, and squeeze it into a ping-pong sized ball.
5. Unwrap it!