All nutural, steam sweet potato, cut into slice, then dry under the sun
I often crave a particular Japanese food when someone just mentions its name. All my memories associated with the food come back to me, and I have to either cook it or drive to Uwajimaya (Japanese grocery store in Seattle).
When a friend of mine, Taichi Kitamura of Chiso Restaurant, told me one morning that he stuffed himself with hoshi-imo, or dried sweet potatoes, I didn’t think much of it because we had plenty of food in front of us that he cooked for “Chiso Recipes” articles on Junglecity.com. But when I was putting together the articles to be posted on our website, I started thinking of hoshi-imo and couldn’t stop. “Yeah, mom used to toast them before giving some to me and my brother. Or was it grandma? Anyways, I really want to eat it again now,” I thought to myself. Later that day, I declared to my husband that I wanted to eat hoshi-imo.
He had a puzzled look on his face and asked, “What is hoshi-imo?”
“It’s dried sweet potatoes.”
“You can just make them by drying them yourself, can’t you?”
“No, you can’t. Well, I probably can, but it’s not something that you make at home. I think it takes more than just drying them because they stay moist and chewy. You buy them in a package.”
My husband has always been good when dealing with my habit of suddenly craving a particular Japanese food, so we stopped by the Bellevue Uwajimaya only to find that they didn’t carry it there. I ended up eating dried mango that I bought from Whole Foods instead.
Then the following day, I stopped by the Seattle Uwajimaya. After going back and forth in the aisle where they display tons of sweets and snacks, I had to give up and call Taichi. Luckily, he picked up the phone.
“Hahahahaha, you are looking for hoshi-imo and asking me where you can find it there?”
He laughed loud and told me to go look for it next to tokoroten, or clear noodles made from seaweed.
“Tokoroten? So, that means it’s refrigerated?”
“Yes, it has to be refrigerated, I guess. Good luck!”
So, that’s where it’s kept. I ran to the refrigerator next to the aisle and finally found it. When I got home that day, I opened the package and ate a bit. Uh…yes, this is exactly the taste I remembered. Then I toasted all of them and finished them in about ten minutes and indulged in the happiness of finally finding hoshi-imo until I realized I didn’t leave any for my husband. Oh well, he will understand.