Transforming Sweet Potatoes into a Healthy Snack

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    When a snack tastes this amazing, it’s hard to realize how good it is for you too! This is my latest recipe in my series of healthy recipes based on traditional Chinese medicinal principles. The recipe is very similar to the Japanese snack daigaku imo, but with a few more additions. Rather than frying, this recipe calls for oven baking or air frying. But don’t fret, healthy doesn’t have to taste bland. The soy sauce and mirin in the glaze add a depth of flavor to the outside so it tastes like you’re basically eating caramel. Here’s how to make it…


    • 1-2 Japanese sweet potatoes

    • 4 tbsp brown sugar

    • 1 tsp mirin

    • 1 tsp soy sauce

    • 1 tsp vinegar (rice wine vinegar or white vinegar work fine)

    • Handful of untoasted coconut flakes (can sub with toasted and just cut out the toasting step)

    • 1 tsp black sesame seeds


    • Cut up your sweet potatoes into triangular shapes and toss in a bit of neutral oil

    • Preheat air fryer or oven to 375F and bake the potatoes in an even layer for 10 mins

    • After 10 mins, flip the potatoes around, then increase the heat to 400 and bake for another 10 mins, making sure to check on them after 5 mins for another toss

    • Once the potatoes are soft enough for a fork or chopstick to easily pierce, it’s time to move on to the sauce

    • If you’re using untoasted coconut flakes, start by toasting until you start to smell the coconutty flavor

    • Remove from the pan before they start turning color, as they’ll continue to cook in the residual heat

    • In a saucepan that’s also large enough to fit all the potatoes, add in the sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and vinegar

    • Heat until the sugar has melted and is bubbling, then add in the sweet potatoes and sprinkle in the coconut flakes and black sesame seeds to coat

    • Let the potatoes cool and serve with some tea on the side