Imo Youkan – Historical past, Seasons for having fun with, Recipe, Eating places

Talking of Japanese conventional sweets (or Wagashi), you would possibly consider Mochi, Dorayaki, Anmitsu, and so forth. However have you ever ever heard of Imo Youkan? This lesser-known delight provides a singular twist to Japan’s candy choices. On this article, we’ll delve into this wonderful world, exploring its historical past, flavors, and cultural significance. From its roots to the explanations it has develop into a cherished deal with, be a part of us on a journey to find the scrumptious secrets and techniques behind this hidden gem in Japanese confectionery.


What’s Imo Youkan?

Imo Youkan is a Japanese candy made by peeling candy potatoes by hand. It incorporates no synthetic colorings, preservatives, or flavorings. The principle components are candy potatoes, sugar, and a small quantity of salt. The sweetness is balanced to spotlight the pure and easy taste of the components.

It has a pleasant style and a easy texture, making it a favourite amongst folks of all ages. You may get pleasure from it as is or bake it within the oven for a candy potato taste or pan-fry it with butter or margarine for a Western twist, providing numerous scrumptious methods to savor it.

Historical past

The historical past of Imo Youkan dates again to the Edo interval. Throughout this time, folks used to make easy candy potato confections by steaming and mashing candy potatoes, including sugar, and molding them. Initially bought beneath the identify “Bantaro Kashi,” together with different comparable treats, they grew to become widespread throughout that point.

Within the Meiji period, Kobayashi Wasuke, a candy potato and charcoal wholesaler in Asakusa, teamed up with Ishikawa Teikichi, his former coworker from a whiskey manufacturing unit. Desirous to make candy potato Youkan as an inexpensive different, they perfected the recipe, resulting in the beginning of Imo Youkan. Kobayashi, along with his newfound data of Japanese confectionery, opened the confectionery “Funawa” in 1902.

At the moment, you’ll be able to get pleasure from this candy extensively throughout Japan. It’s notably cherished as a specialty in candy potato-producing areas like Kawagoe, Saitama.

What sorts of candy potatoes utilized in Imo Youkan?

Let’s see what sorts of candy potatoes they use to make Imo Youkan. If you’re specific about style, let’s additionally deal with the kinds of candy potatoes.

Beni Azuma & Naruto Kintoki

Naruto Kintoki

This number of candy potatoes is appropriate for individuals who favor a candy and fluffy texture. The mild sweetness and wealthy texture are the charming factors. Some shops mix them with moist varieties, so discover your most popular texture.


Annou Imo
出典: Japapo

For many who need to savor a sticky and wealthy sweetness. In the event you favor intense sweetness, how about attempting yokan made with Anno Imo? The excessive sugar content material and sticky, creamy Anno Imo are good for individuals who get pleasure from a sweeter style. It’s additionally a pleasant level that many merchandise are made with out utilizing sugar, highlighting the pure sweetness.

Silk Candy, Beni haruka, Beni masari

Beni Haruka

For these searching for a moist and easy texture with sweetness. In the event you search a moist texture, search for merchandise made with Silk Candy, Beniharuka, or Benimasari. All of them have a easy mouthfeel, and you may get pleasure from a strong sweetness. In the event you favor a refreshing sweetness, Silk Candy is really useful, whereas Beniharuka or Benimasari are appropriate for individuals who like stronger sweetness.

Purple Candy Potatoes

Purple sweet potatoes

For many who need a vibrant and reasonably candy, wholesome enjoyment. In the event you’re searching for visually interesting yokan, select these made with purple candy potatoes. Varieties utilized in candy potato yokan embrace Ayamurasaki, Tanegashima Purple Candy Potato, and Purple Candy Street. Many types have a restrained sweetness and are wealthy in anthocyanins. The attraction lies in having fun with the gorgeous and vibrant candy potato yokan.

Events and Seasons for Having fun with Imo Youkan

On the earth of conventional Japanese sweets, “Imo Youkan” stands out with its distinctive attraction. This delicacy, famend for its fluffy sweetness and particular texture, holds a particular place in numerous celebrations and each day teatime. Let’s discover the events and seasons that make Imo Youkan notably pleasant.

Imo Yokan with sweet potatoes

Teatime Delight

Imo Youkan is a well-liked alternative as a pleasant companion to tea. Its delicate sweetness and easy texture improve the tea-drinking expertise, making it a popular alternative for these quiet moments of rest.

Seasonal Celebrations

Imo Youkan isn’t simply restricted to teatime; it additionally takes heart stage throughout particular seasonal celebrations. From New Yr’s festivities to cherry blossom viewing in spring, and the serene autumn moon-viewing, Imo Youkan provides a contact of sweetness to those cherished moments.

Excellent Timing in Cooler Months

The prime season for savoring Imo Youkan’s delectable style is in the course of the colder months, primarily from autumn to winter. That is when candy potatoes, the primary ingredient, are freshly harvested, making certain a market full of one of the best produce for crafting this beloved candy.

Because the temperature drops, there’s a pure inclination for heat and comforting sweets. Imo Youkan completely matches this desire with its mild sweetness and comforting texture, making it a go-to deal with to neglect in regards to the chilly climate.

Yr-Spherical Delight

What makes Imo Youkan much more particular is its year-round availability. With candy potatoes being accessible all year long, this pleasant candy might be loved as a handy and simply ready snack, whether or not bought from conventional candy retailers or made at house. Imo Youkan, with its versatility and seasonal significance, continues to captivate the style buds of those that admire the great thing about Japanese confectionery all through the altering seasons.

Imo Youkan FAQ

Is Imo Youkan appropriate for weight-reduction plan?

Imo Youkan typically has decrease sugar and calorie content material in comparison with common Yokan and different Japanese sweets. Nevertheless, it is probably not appropriate for these on strict sugar-restricted diets. Every slice (50g) incorporates roughly 18.3g of sugar and 79 kcal. Whereas candy potatoes contribute to the calorie rely, it’s thought of average within the context of entire meals.

In the event you’re on a low-carbohydrate weight-reduction plan, it’s advisable to be aware of portion sizes. Regardless of its sugar content material, Imo Youkan might be loved carefully as a part of a balanced weight-reduction plan.

How lengthy does Imo Youkan keep recent?

Imo Youkan has a superb shelf life. When saved in a cool, dry place and stored in an hermetic container, it may well keep recent for a number of weeks. Refrigeration can additional prolong its shelf life.

How one can make Imo Youkan at house?


Components (for 4 servings) Measurements
Candy potatoes 250g
Sugar 60g
Agar powder 2g
Water 120ml



Put together Candy Potatoes


Peel and slice candy potatoes into 2cm thick rounds.


Soak them in water to take away extra starch and bitterness.


Boil Candy Potatoes


Boil candy potatoes in ample water till they develop into tender.


Drain and instantly mash them whereas nonetheless sizzling.


Put together Agar Combination


In a pot, dissolve agar powder in water and convey to a boil.


Add sugar to the combination. Guarantee thorough dissolution as any remaining particles could forestall it from solidifying.


Mix Components


Combine the mashed candy potatoes into the agar combination.


Pour the combination right into a container and let it cool and solidify.



As soon as set, reduce it into bite-sized items. Your handmade Imo Youkan is able to be served!

Advisable eating places/ shops

Funawa (舟和)

Funawa Main Branch store in Asakusa

Welcome to Funawa, a cherished retailer with a historical past courting again to 1902. Situated on the nook of Shin-Nakamise Avenue and Orange Avenue, Funawa proudly presents its standout creation, Imo Youkan. Based by Kobayashi Wasuke, the shop actively supplies protected and scrumptious confections. Step into Funawa to benefit from the genuine flavors of Japanese sweets and savor the time-honored style that has delighted generations of consumers.

Tackle (Predominant Department): 1 Chome-22-10 Asakusa, Taito Metropolis, Tokyo
Telephone quantity: +81338422781
Enterprise hours: 10:30–19:30
Web site:

Kagari (かがり)

Kagari Restaurant

Step into Kagari, the place culinary excellence meets custom. Identified for its genuine Japanese flavors, Kagari introduces an beautiful contact to its menu with the inclusion of Imo Youkan, a pleasant candy that includes the distinctive essence of candy potatoes. With a dedication to sourcing recent, seasonal components, Kagari presents an enthralling ambiance impressed by conventional Japanese settings. Whether or not for celebrations or informal eating, Kagari guarantees a memorable expertise, making it a really useful alternative for these searching for the right mix of custom and style.

Tackle: Keio Plaza Lodge Tokyo 2 Chome−2−1, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Telephone quantity: +81333440111
Enterprise hours: [Monday-Friday] 11:30–15:00,17:00–22:00
[Saturday-Sunday] 11:30–22:00
Web site:


In conclusion, Imo Youkan, with its principal ingredient being candy potatoes, presents a pleasant and distinctive style that captivates the senses. The mixture of deep sweetness and the distinct taste of candy potatoes creates an expertise that lingers in your reminiscence. The various regional recipes stemming from completely different preparation strategies add an thrilling component to the enjoyment of this conventional Japanese candy. Whether or not loved throughout teatime, seasonal celebrations, or as a inventive addition to desserts, this candy stands as a flexible and cherished deal with. Indulge within the wealthy heritage and flavors of Imo Youkan, a real gem on the planet of Japanese confectionery.

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