Candied Sweet Potatoes (Daigaku Imo) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Course: Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: daigaku imo, sweet potato
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Nami
Gently fried sweet potatoes covered in a sugary coat. This Japanese-style Candied Sweet Potatoes (daigaku imo) recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy this fall vegetable.



  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Candied Sweet Potatoes Ingredients
  2. We don’t peel the skin of sweet potato so wash carefully.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 1
  3. Cut diagonally while rotating the sweet potato a quarter between cuts. This Japanese cutting technique is called “Rangiri”.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 2
  4. Soak in water for 15 minutes to remove starch. Change the water a few times.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 3
  5. Wrap the frying pan’s lid with kitchen cloth. This is to prevent condensation on the lid dripping into sweet potatoes while cooking.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 4
  6. Do not heat the frying pan yet. Add sugar, oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar in the pan and combine all together.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 5
  7. Dry the sweet potatoes completely with paper towel and place in the pan.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 6
  8. Cover with the lid and turn on the heat to medium.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 7
  9. When you hear bubbling sound from the pan, turn the heat to low to medium-low, and set timer for 2 minutes. Open the lid and flip the sweet potatoes every 2-3 minute so that all sides will have nice golden brown color and get flavored.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 8
  10. Depends on the size of sweet potatoes, the cooking time varies, cook for 8-10 minutes or until an inserted skewer goes through smoothly (I personally prefer it a bit tougher than completely soft texture). Now transfer to the serving plate/bowl and sprinkle black sesame seeds.
    Candied Sweet Potatoes 9

Recipe Notes

* Vinegar helps the sugar from hardening when it cools down.

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.