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.

To make the most of the natural sweetness of the sweet potato, it is usually unseasoned.

Ishi-Yakiimo (石焼きいも)

Catering Vehicle Offering Ishi-Yaki Imo

The sweet potatoes cooked in small heated pebbles are generally called “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) 

Yawarake Hoshi-Imo

Similar to Yaki Imo, “Hoshi Imo (干し芋)” 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 and features the natural sweetness characteristic of Satsuma Imo.

Hoshi-Imo dried steamed sweet potato snack

But Hoshi Imo is different 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 rich in vitamin B1, vitamin C, potassium, and iron.

Where to Buy

We usually cook Yaki Imo in the yard using 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: