Deep-fried Nagaimo Japanese Yam and Chicken Nuggets

Nagaimo fries are flakier than French fries. Adding potato starch to butter makes the outside crispy.

Deep-fried Nagaimo Japanese Yam and Chicken Nuggets
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Yuko Murata







Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 nagaimo Japanese yam (relatively thin) (approx. 400 g)

    Belongs to the yamaimo potato family. Shaped like a thick stick, can be more than 1 m long. Contains more water than other yamaimo potatoes and is not as sticky.

  • 2 chicken breasts (400 g)
  • [Chicken nugget breading]

    • 1 egg
    • 2 tbsp grated cheese
    • 2 tbsp flour
    • 2 tbsp potato starch
    • 1 tsp garlic (grated)
    • 1 tsp granulated chicken stock
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Pepper, to taste
  • Butterhead lettuce, as needed
  • Lemon (cut into wedges), as needed
  • Ketchup, to taste
  • Oil for deep-frying, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste



Pass the nagaimo Japanese yam through a flame to singe off the "hairs," then rinse under running water. Cut it into pieces 6 to 7 cm long, with the peel still on, then cut each piece into strips along its length, 1 cm by 1 cm in cross-section.


Be careful not to burn your hands on the nagaimo Japanese yam


Remove the skin and excess fat from the chicken and cut into bite-sized sogi-giri pieces 1 cm thick.


In a bowl, beat the egg for the chicken nugget breading, then add the remaining chicken nugget breading ingredients and mix together. Add the chicken and massage in by hand.


Heat your deep-frying oil to 170-175°C, then add the nagaimo Japanese yam. Deep fry for 3-4 min, turning over occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.


Place the pieces of chicken, making sure they stay coated in the chicken nugget breading, into the frying oil one by one. Once the breading sets, turn over occasionally. Fry for 3-4 min, or until golden brown and crunchy.


Serve the fried nagaimo Japanese yam and chicken nuggets on a bed of Butterhead lettuce, with lemon wedges, salt, and ketchup on the side.


To store:
Store in an airtight container lined with a paper towel. Will keep for 1 - 2 days in the refrigerator.