Imo-yokan is jellied sweet potato cake. It's one
of those things I found on the Web, and the description
interested me enough to make me search around for a
recipe I could manage. As I don't have a postal scale
in my kitchen and thus could not measure out grams,
I had to guesstimate some of the amounts. It turned
out well, though, so I'll say I got it right.
1 medium-sized sweet potato
1 teaspoon kanten powder (think Japanese
Jell-o, but unflavored and based on seaweed)
dash of salt
3/4 cup water
Get something you want to use as a mold. I used a
tart pan, but I would have used a rectangular pan if
I'd had one small enough. Line it with plastic wrap.
Set it aside.
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into into inch-thick
pieces. Soak the pieces in water for a while (a half
to a full hour, I guess), then drain. Put the potato
pieces in a bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes.
Crush the spuds with a potato masher, then a whisk.
Then strain them by pushing them through a mesh strainer
with the back of a large spoon. Warning: This is no
small task. Your arms will get a workout!
Put the water, sugar, kanten powder, and a little
salt into a small pot and heat it on the stove. When
it boils, add the sweet potato. Mix well with the whisk
until it's an even, really-thick-soup texture. Let it
cool a bit, then pour it into the mold and flatten it
down with a wooden spatula. Let it cool and stiffen,
then cut it up and serve. The imo-yokan pictures I've
seen show a yellowish-colored cake, but mine was Halloweeny
orange. Different varieties of sweet potato.