Do you know what Yakiimo is? A hint for you, it is a type of snack mostly found in Japan! Alright, those who are still thinking about it to get the answer, I have a suggestion for you, just keep reading, you will find the answer here. In fact, it is one of my favorite Japanese foods.

In recent time, a lot of news buzz in our ears that concerned people are looking for healthy food recipes. I think, Yakiimo could be one of your best substitutes of eating greasy foods that you have been eating since a long time ago. It is great to be a vegetarian for some reason, this is not my words but doctors! Change your food menu and start eating healthy Japanese vegan foods.

Yakiimo (Sweet Potato) Seller in Japan
Yakiimo Seller in Japan. Photo credit: Chris Gladis at Flickr through Creative Commons Licensing.

Yakiimo is a roasted sweet potato and is seen as a very popular snack in Japan. This is not a roasted chicken or something like that, I hope you understand me! It is a famous food for Japanese people and if you are a vegetarian then this is the perfect one you must try here in Japan.

The word snack does familiar to you all I hope, but if you compare it with typical snack which we see as a junk food then you are absolutely wrong! It is a healthy snack that people here recognize it as a winter snack. Usually it is eaten by us in autumn and early winter though. The following FAQ would definitely help you to understand it.

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What is Yakiimo? – A Roasted Sweet Potato and a snack
Why Yakiimo is eaten? – Because it is sweet and delicious
Where would I find it? – All over Japan
How to get it? – Wait for the vendor who has a cart/truck and spend little money to buy it from him/her, that’s it! Or if you wish not to spend money then cook it yourself at home.
When to eat it? – At any time you want during autumn, spring (hanami festival) and early winter if the truck is available near your home.

Yakiimo Truck in Tokyo, Japan
Yakiimo Truck in Tokyo During Hanami Festival. Photo credit: Marufish at Flickr through Creative Commons Licensing

As Yakiimo is referred as a baked sweet potato you must be sure that it is cooked over a wood fire. In Japan, cart or small truck carries a wood stove where Yakiimo is actually being cooked. Customers can get fresh Yakiimo, that’s for what vendor carries such stove with his/her cart.

I do have great memories with it; I used to wait for the cart for long to buy Yakiimo. In fall we go out to see our autumn nature at that time this Japanese street food becomes quite popular to the persons who walk outside along the streets.

The Yakiimo Recipe

It is a quite simple Japanese recipe that anyone could try at home; you simply can roast then in an oven or just use a pan. Don’t let them burn out totally so keep turning over now and again for an hour or so in case you are cooking it in a pan. You can serve it with salt and butter.

Yakiimo is Ready to Eat. Photo credit: Sam Sheffield at Flickr through Creative Commons Licensing.

The main ingredient you need to cook it is the Satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potatoes). They have dark-pink skin and taste like yams. They contain a lot of calories which is a plus point for our health! I don’t know if Satsumaimo could be found in North America or Europe but you better search for it once, who knows you may get these! Good luck to you!