Imodango

Sorry for the long break guys, I’ve been reverting to the old favourite recipes recently so haven’t had anything new for you!  However, I was feeling adventurous tonight!

I’ve been trying to think up an English name for these delicious deep fried morsels.  The Japanese name, Imodango, means sweet potato dumpling/ball, but this isn’t really a true dango and I think something a bit more poetic is called for so, if you want an English name, then Deep Fried Sweet Potato Pillows it shall be!

These come from one particular restaurant in Japan that I ate at at least once, if not three times, a week when I was on my gap year, Tokai Sendan.  The owner took it upon himself to educate us in Japanese food in exchange for practicing his English on us.  I still think we won rather, we got some astounding meals from him but the absolute stand out dish we ordered every time without fail was Imodango.  I wanted to visit again when I went back to Tokyo for University but the restaurant had closed.  Therefore it was about 7 or 8 years ago that I last tasted these, which made it rather difficult to recreate them, let me tell you! 

They might be a bit of an aquired taste for some.  Like much Japanese food they rely on the mixture of sweet and salty that some people just don’t like.  The texture is also out of the Western way as they use glutinous rice flour, which gives a sort of fluffy/chewy sort of texture inside, all wrapped up in a cripsy outside.  Now, all warnings aside, I do hope you try these, they’re unusual, yes but delicious! Serve these with any kind of stir fry (yakisoba for preference), may be some gyoza, and a nice bowl of steamed edamame. 

Serves 4-6 as a side

~200g sweet potato
200g glutinous rice flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
150ml boiling water

– Chop the sweet potato into chunks and boil for 20 minutes in very lightly salted water.
– Mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda in a small bowl. 
– Drain the potato and leave to dry a little, then mash in a large mixing bowl. 
– Gradually stir in the flour and most of the water, then the rest if it looks ok.  It will come together, never fear! Leave it to sit for a minute or two. 
– Dust your hands and a board in cornflour or rice flour and pinch off golf ball sized bits of dough and shape them into pillows.  You don’t need to be too precious about it, the mixture should make about 12 pillows. 
– Heat the deep fat frier to 180C.  May sure it’s good and hot, don’t jump in too early. 
– Place a few of the pillows in at once and fry for about 2 minutes then turn over and fry for another 2 minutes.  They should be puffy and golden, not too dark. 
– Take out and place on kitchen paper in a warm oven while you do the others in batches. 
– Serve with soy sauce to dip them in as a side with Japanese food.

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Filed under Easy, Japanese, Sides

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