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Daigaku Imo (Glazed Sweet Potatoes)

Daikaku Imo (大学芋), or "University Potatoes" are a delicious Japanese snack food with crisp chunks of fried sweet potatoes glazed with honey or maltose. Here's how to make this traditional treat.

Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Potato, Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Pescatarian, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 snack servings


  • 450 grams satsuma imo (Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • mild honey
  • toasted sesame seeds


  1. Add the satsuma imo to a pot large enough to fit all of them in one layer. Cover the potatoes in vegetable oil, then add the sesame oil. Turn the heat on to medium high and fry them. until they are medium brown on one side. Flip them over and continue frying until they are dark brown and have a thick crunchy shell.
  2. Transfer the fried potatoes to a large metal bowl and drizzle a copious amount of honey on top. You need to work quickly as the residual heat from the potatoes is needed to caramelize the honey. Toss the potatoes to give them an even coating of honey, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds look better, but I only had white ones.
  3. Serve immediately, but be careful, they're hot!


Note: While you normally don't add things to the oil when it's cold, these big pieces of potato need some time at a lower temperature so they cook all the way through. Since potatoes aren't very porous, they don't have the problem of absorbing too much oil you would have if you were to do the same thing with something breaded for instance.