All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Satsumaimo sweet potato

Ipomoea batatas

Japanese sweet potato has brownish red purple skin and slightly yellow cream-colored flesh inside. “Satsuma” comes from the Satsuma region, today’s Kagoshima Prefecture which produces 40% of satsumaimo consumed in the entire country. Satsumaimo was introduced to Japan via Okinawa (thus it is also known as “Ryukyu imo” – Ryukyu is Okinawa's old name; “imo” means potato) in the early 18th century. It is known for being easy to grow and was one of vegetables I grew as part of science class in elementary school.

Satsumaimo seems much sweeter than other sweet potatoes. On my personal sweetness scale, its level is about the same as that of kabocha pumpkin. These two substitute very well, especially in sweets recipes such as custard puddings, cheesecakes, muffins and other items.

One of the best way to enjoy satsumaimo is to roast it over a campfire in early fall – the satsumaimo harvest season. The ideal campfire is a rather quiet affair fueled by leaves and twigs, not the vigorous fire of a beach party bonfire. Roasted satsumaimo is called yakiimo. When you used heated stones (ishi) for roasting, it is called ishi-yakiimo. A simple way of cooking is always the best to appreciate what food in season can give you.

Satsumaimo is rich in anti-oxidants, such as Vitamin C (29 mg/100 g), beta carotene (23 μg), and Vitamin E. It also contains lots of fiber (2.3 g) and potassium (470 mg). It's another great food to deal with cholesterol (fiber carries it away) and high blood pressure (potassium helps to remove extra sodium from your body).

132 kcal/100 g; 66.1% water, 1.2% protein, 0.2% fat, 31.5% carbohydrate, 1.1% ash

Recipes with satsumaimo

Try satsumaimo in the following recipe

(Last updated: January 25, 2018)

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