Imokempi is a Japanese sweet made by cutting sweet potatoes into strips, deep-frying them in vegetable oil, and sprinkling them with sugar. It is one of the deep-fried sweets.
It is commonly known as a specialty of Kochi Prefecture. One of the local sweets that has been handed down in Kochi Prefecture since the Heian period (794-1185) is kempi, a dried confectionery made of wheat flour. The main ingredients and manufacturing method are completely different from those of kempi, but the shape and texture are similar, which is said to be the origin of the name “kempi”. In Kagoshima and other prefectures, it is called “Imo Karinto” because of its similar shape to Karinto. Imokempi” is a Tosa dialect term.
The sugar coating gives the surface a firmer texture than the raw state, and although it breaks easily, it has a chewy texture. The surface is often dressed with sesame seeds. The shape and cooking method are similar to those of French fries, but they are eaten only as a snack, and are rarely used as a garnish or ingredient in dishes like French fries.
There are many different flavors of sweet potato kenpies made using traditional methods.
The hollow cross section is the result of the traditional Kochi method. This is due to the fact that the fibers of the sweet potatoes shrink to a good degree as they swell up and become fluffy when they are slowly and carefully fried in the first step of using oil. You can enjoy the rich taste and flavor of sweet potatoes without losing them to the oil, and you will never get tired of it. The taste of the sweet potatoes is further enhanced when they are dipped in honey.
We spent 10 years searching for the best sweet potatoes for sweet potato pancakes that would go well with oil and taste good even when fried, and with the help of the local community, we were able to obtain delicious, tasty sweet potatoes from Miyazaki Prefecture, a sweet potato producing region. If sweet potatoes are not processed within two days of harvesting, their taste will deteriorate. However, Mizuguruma-tei does not want to process the sweet potatoes locally, but to process them by ourselves.
If you are interested, please take a look at this Japanese site.