Yaki Imo vs. Hoshi Imo: Japanese Sweet Potato Snacks

When it comes to Japanese snacks using sweet potatoes, I used to buy Yaki Imo (焼き芋) as a kid from a small catering truck that passed my house almost every evening during cold winter months.

Yaki Imo (焼き芋)

Yaki Imo

Yaki Imo is a good-old Japanese sweet potato snack typically cooked in burning fallen leaves wrapped with aluminum foil or roasted directly in small heated pebbles.

It is usually unseasoned to make the most of the natural sweetness of the sweet potato.

Ishi-Yakiimo (石焼きいも)

Catering Vehicle Offering Ishi-Yaki Imo

We generally call the sweet potatoes cooked in small heated pebbles Ishi-Yakiimo (石焼きいも: stone-roasted potato), which is mainly offered by catering trucks in the street during the winter season.

Hoshi Imo (干し芋) 

Yawaraka Hoshi-Imo

Hoshi Imo (干し芋) is similar to Yaki Imo, which is another classic Japanese snack made of Japanese sweet potato Satsuma Imo (サツマイモ). 

Hoshi Imo tastes like Yaki Imo because it is also unseasoned, featuring the natural sweetness characteristic of Satsuma Imo.

Hoshi-Imo dried steamed sweet potato snack

But Hoshi Imo differs from Yaki Imo in that the sweet potato is steamed first and then dried in the sun.

By the way, the formal name of Hoshi Imo is Kiriboshi Kansho (切干甘藷), and it is also called Kansou Imo (乾燥芋), Kipposhi (きっぽし), or Imo-Kachi (いもかち).

Hoshi Imo is available in various shapes but typically shaped like french fries, making the snack easy to eat. It is tender but slightly sticky with moderate moisture.

Hoshi Imo is packed with nutrients. It has lots of dietary fiber and is a rich source of vitamin B1, vitamin C, potassium, and iron.

Where to Buy

We usually cook Yaki Imo in the yard with fallen leaves, while Hoshi Imo is sold in supermarkets and convenience stores, but we don’t often make it at home for ourselves.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 石焼き芋, 干しいも )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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