This ‘Sugar Coated Sweet Potato Sticks’ are called ‘Imo Kempi’ in Japan and it was one of my favourite childhood snacks. It is really easy to make, but not so easy to make them super crunchy like the ones from shops. Today I could make them for the first time in many years thanks to a local Asian green grocer who sells Japanese Sweet Potatoes. I cooked Sugar a little bit too long and the Sweet Potato sticks became slightly sticky. It’s a fail, but they were super crunchy and that was a success!


4 Servings


1 medium Japanese Sweet Potato *about 300g
Oil for cooking *I used Canola Oil

Sugar Coating
4 tablespoons Caster Sugar
2 tablespoons Water

  1. Place generous amount of Oil in a frying pan.
  2. Wash Japanese Sweet Potato and dry it. Cut into 5-6mm thick sticks and place them straight into the Oil, this way prevents Sweet Potato turning brown and you don’t need to soak them in water and dry before frying.
  3. Add extra Oil if required to cover all Sweet Potato sticks. Heat over medium heat, and cook slowly for 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned and crunchy. Transfer to a rack or paper towel.
  4. Line a baking tray or a large plate with baking paper.
  5. Empty the frying pan and clean, OR use another frying pan. Heat Caster Sugar and Water over medium heat. When it is slightly thickened and syrupy, add Sweet Potato sticks and coat well. *Note: Do not overcook Sugar as it gets sticky. It might get crystallised and it’s actually good.
  6. Spread them on the prepared baking paper and allow to cool completely.