I love American candied yam using a lot of sugar and butter. And I believe many of you who likes it will love Japanese ones, often called Daigaku imo （大学いも） as well.
What you need:
Japanese sweet potato 1 lbs
Sugar 3-4 rounded tbs
Soy sauce 1 tbs
Black sesame seeds, optional
Oil for fry
I need to put extra emphasis to use JAPANESE YAM here. No American sweet potato can be a substitute. Comparatively, American yam is softer and has a nice melting texture when cooked. On the other hand, Japanese sweet potato with purple skin is more meaty and its texture is rather similar to sweet Italian chestnuts.
You can find the Japanese sweet potato (may also be called Asian yam or Korean yam) in a Chinese or other Asian grocery shops. In Astoria, you can find them in a Trade Fair super market near 30th Ave. station.
What to do;
1) Cut the potato in a large bite size.
2) Heat a generous amount of oil in a large pan. When the oil is hot (about 350 degrees F), add the cut potatoes. Make sure that potatoes are dry.
3) Fry until the potatoes are tender, for about 10-12 minutes, then remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon.
4) Heat a different large pan and add a spoonful of oil, sugar, water and soy sauce.
5) When it is getting hot, observe the heated mixture carefully.
It will get syrupy and the bubbles are getting slightly bigger. Then it is the right timing to add all the hot fried potatoes.
Be careful, if you put the potatoes too early, the glaze is just sugary and watery. And if you are too late, the syrup tastes like bitter caramel, or hard candied.
Mix quickly and coat the potatoes with the syrup, then stop heating immediately.
Sprinkle the glazed potatoes with black sesame seeds if you like.
This tastes great hot or cold, great snack for kids. Of course you adult will enjoy it.
I have this recipe in Japanese, too!