Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon さつまいものレモン煮

Jump to Recipe Discussion
  • Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon is a classic way to enjoy the seasonal harvest. It makes a delightful side dish and a healthy snack during this time of the year. So simple yet so good that you’ll want to make sure you always have some on hand! 

    Fluted bowl containing Simmered Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Lemon.

    This Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon (さつまいものレモン煮) is a humble dish that exemplifies the flavor and nutrients of the amazing vegetable. Gently cooked in a liquid with lemon juice, they are slightly tangy and sweet with a pleasant fruity fragrance.

    I like to make a big batch of it to serve as a side dish throughout the week and I sometimes pack them in my kids’ lunch box. They make a healthy afternoon snack to enjoy with your green tea too. If you love Japanese sweet potatoes, you will appreciate the simplicity of this simmered sweet potatoes.

    Fluted bowl containing Simmered Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Lemon.

    3-Ingredient Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon

    For this recipe, you’ll only need three ingredients: Japanese sweet potato (satsumaimo), lemon, and sugar.

    Satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potatoes) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Some variations of this recipe may include mirin, soy sauce, and so on, but I personally enjoy the sweet potatoes in its simplest flavor. You can experiment with the additional seasonings as you like.

    Fluted bowl containing Simmered Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Lemon.

    The Importance of the Otoshibuta (Drop Lid) for Simmering Food

    DroplidIn this recipe, you will see this unfamiliar Japanese kitchen tool called otoshibuta (落し蓋), or a drop lid being used.

    It is an essential Japanese kitchen equipment, traditionally made of wood but these days they are made of stainless steel. The round lid is slightly smaller than the diameter of the saucepan, and the lid floats on top of the simmering foods. Why do we use the otoshibuta instead of the regular lid that comes with the pot? Let’s find out.

    What Does the Otoshibuta Do?

    1. Even distribution of heat

    Otoshibuta ensures that the heat is evenly distributed, allowing the ingredients to cook quickly and evenly as they absorb all the delicious flavors. The cooking liquid circulates towards the lid and coats the top of the ingredients, without being stirred with a spoon (which could possibly break them apart).

    2. Prevents ingredients from breaking apart

    Otoshibuta holds the ingredients in place so they don’t’ move around in the liquid and don’t break apart during the simmering process.

    3. Prevents evaporation

    Using the otoshibuta prevents evaporation, but if you’re cooking with very minimal cooking liquid, you can place a regular lid (with otoshibuta inside) to prevent evaporation 100%.

    Where to Buy Otoshibuta + Quick & Easy Homemade Otoshibuta

    How To Make OtoshibutaYou can get the wooden otoshibuta (fixed width) on Amazon or stainless steel otoshibuta (adjustable size) from this online shop.

    Or you can easily make an otoshibuta with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Learn how to make it in this post.

     

    Fluted bowl containing Simmered Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Lemon.

    If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy Japanese sweet potato, I hope you give this Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon a try. They are delicious warm, room temperature or chilled.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

    Sign up for the free Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on FacebookPinterest, YouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

    5 from 2 votes
    Fluted bowl containing Simmered Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Lemon.
    Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    20 mins
    Total Time
    25 mins
     

    Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon is a classic way to enjoy the seasonal harvest. It makes a delightful side dish and a healthy snack during this time of the year. Enjoy warm, room temperature or chilled!

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: sweet potato
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • 1 Japanese sweet potato (250 g)
    • 1 cup water (250 ml)
    • ½ lemon
    • 2 Tbsp sugar (30 g)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon Ingredients
    2. Peel the sweet potato’s skin alternately to create stripes. Then cut and discard both ends.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon 1
    3. Cut the sweet potato into ½-inch thick rounds. Soak them in water to remove starch for 5 minutes and then drain.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon 2
    4. In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup water, 2 Tbsp sugar, and juice from ½ lemon.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon 3
    5. Add the sweet potato rounds (ideally in a single layer) in the saucepan and place the Otoshibuta (drop lid) on top instead of the regular lid. Bring it to boil over medium heat. Learn about the Otoshibuta: why we use it and how to make it with aluminum foil.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon 4
    6. Once boiling, skim off the scums and foams with a fine mesh skimmer. Turn down the heat to simmer/low heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon 5
    7. When it’s almost done, open the Otoshibuta and insert a bamboo skewer in the center of the thick sweet potato and see if it goes through.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon 6
    8. Turn off the heat when it’s done cooking, and serve. Ideally, set aside and let cool to absorb more flavors for 2 hours. You can chill the sweet potatoes in the refrigerator before serving, or serve at room temperature.
      Simmered Sweet Potatoes with Lemon 7
    To Store
    1. You can keep the simmered sweet potatoes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze them but the texture of the sweet potatoes will be changed slightly.

    Recipe Notes

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

     

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Make Into A Meal

  • Just One Cookbook: Essential Japanese Recipes

    Love Our Recipes?

    Leave A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    What type of comment do you have?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Discussion

  • Emily wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • A wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Lion wrote:
  • Kisa wrote:
  • Lion wrote: