Dengaku Sweet Potatoes
I made quite a lot of dengaku sauce the other day, and decided to try it with sweet potatoes on the grill. I cut a sweet potato, cross-wise into ½ inch thick slices and parboiled them until it was just barely tender. This allowed me time to soak the bamboo skewers, and made it much easier to insert them into the sweet potato. American sweet potatoes are rock hard and tend to crack when poked by skewers. The parboiled potatoes were also easier to make shallow grid-like cuts into one side to hold the sauce.


Mr. Tess fired up the cast iron hibachi, and it was most certainly hot when he started the chicken thighs. I’d left the skins on them because who doesn’t love a nice crisp grilled chicken [skin]? The fat melted on contact and flared up above the meat. Yes, who doesn’t love black chicken! After a little scraping, and moving the chicken to the side of the hibachi with fewer coals, I gave him some mystery sauce to baste the chicken with: soy sauce, maybe a little sugar, and lots of red peppers—we’ll be on vacation in internet-less territory so this was an attempt to use up things in the fridge (never mind that it was only a ½ cup container).

The mystery is, what recipe did I originally make this spicy liquid for? At any rate, I figured that nothing seriously bad could happen to refrigerated soy sauce and dried red peppers; and we haven’t gotten sick yet! If I could figure out which recipe the sauce came from I’d let you know. One drawback of cooking this variety of Japanese recipes is that my fridge has accumulated many small containers of leftover sauces.

Grilling chicken or meat and basting with these odd leftovers seems a reasonable, if inauthentic, way of using them. Oh, and I tossed a couple of bags of lettuce and greens that never made it to a salad. Guess we are just about ready for the vacation…

By the time the inside of the chicken caught up with the cooking on the outside, the coals had cooled a little. Just about cool enough to grill the sweet potato. Keep in mind that we were busy all day and it was dark by this point. The sweet potatoes only burned in a few places. I buttered on some of the dengaku sauce and let that get a little hot.
I love grilled corn on the cob that has just begun to caramelize, so we put a couple of unshucked ears on the coals, with no hope of them being ready for this meal. Luckily that pot of water on the stove was boiling and ready for cooking the other corn.
So the meal was served, and it was fine.


By the way, roasted sweet potatoes with dengaku sauce are really good.

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