Minatamis na Kamote / Sweetened Sweet Potatoes

Minatamis na kamote was not something I ate often when growing up. kamote1We had a lot of fried kamote or even kamote-que but not minatamis. So when a Marketmanila reader (Maricel) asked for some help on a good recipe for this dish I was stumped. I suspect that I have not eaten enough of this dish to know what is appealing and what is not. Since it is a matter of personal taste, I am going on the description of Maricel that the minatamis must be “makunat” on the outside and tender on the inside. Makunat is officially translated as ductility or resiliency or perhaps better described as something that bends without breaking. I have heard the term applied to food all my life and I know what it describes, but translating it for an alien would be rather difficult. Old peanut brittle gets makunat in humid weather, so does chicharon or even dried squid. Anyway, since I had a kilo or more of brilliant bright orange kamote leftover from my trip to Baguio, I decided to try my luck.

The other day a friend sent me a newly published Filipino cookbook titled “Philippine Cuisine” by Myrna D. Segismundo. kamote2In it, she describes a minatamis na kamote that I decided to use as a base for this experiment. Her version has you boiling the kamote (orange fleshed sweet potato) whole with skins on until just tender. Then cool, peel and slice into medium sized chunks. Make a mixture of butter, cinnamon and brown sugar and coat the kamote and throw it into a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the sugar caramelizes. The second photo here shows the sweet potatoes before they are put into the oven. This recipe sounded a lot like the baked sweet potatoes (note, they are sweet potatoes and NOT yams as they are often mistakenly referred to in the U.S.) I used to make in New York to go with turkey or even a Smithfield ham. A very western version, this one. The result, in the photo above, was delicious but clearly not authentically “Filipino” – I liked it immensely but I don’t think it’s what Maricel is searching for – more a side dish to meat than a sweet stand-alone dessert. The boiling and baking combination resulted in a nice skin to the kamote but not quite “makunat” and the insides were soft and tasty. The sauce was rather thick, not a thinner dark sauce that I had in mind. Another reader said she would check out another recipe this weekend so let’s hope we hear the results of that effort soon… If I had to do it again, I would only parboil the kamote (intentionally undercook), then put in a hot oven with a more watery butter and brown sugar mixture. Perhaps some dayap or kalamansi to flavor the sauce as well.


7 Responses

  1. Try frying the raw peeled sweet potato sections and then dip them in caramelized sugar. With the humidity the coating will eventually melt and the browned parts will become chewy.

  2. Undercooking is a great idea. I overcooked mine, and have not tried again. Better yet, when I’m in town I should go get some at Hizon’s.

  3. I love minatamis na kamote, aka candied sweet potatoes. I make mine the Western way, I suppose. I boil the kamote (skin off, chunked), stopping before it’s fully cooked and tender. Then I drain, toss the kamote in a baking dish with maple syrup (dapat tunay, hindi imitation), brown sugar, orange zest (all hail the microplane!), vanilla extract, cinnamon, grated nutmeg, and butter. Tapos I stick it in the oven until everything comes together in a hot, gooey, yummy mess. Hungry yet? LOL.

  4. In my search for the minatamis na kamote like the one my grandmother used to make, I have come across a lot of recipes and advice. I have read in foodie magazines several times that the grandma of Vicky Veloso made great minatamis na kamote. I found her recipe in one of Vicky’s cookbooks. Like your recipe there was parboiling and baking in involved. The only difference is that she caramelized the sugar over the fire then added some water when it was nice and brown and syrupy before adding the parboiled sweet potatoes and butter and then popping it into the oven. She did say that you have to be careful when you add the water because it would react violently. Well, I regret not heeding her caveat because I now bear 2 keloid scars from the drops of superheated caramel which landed on my hand. It tasted good as with all my other experiments but what has me stumped is getting the right texture so….the search goes on.

  5. camote: i went to the market today and at the potato , onion and garlic stall I bought my onions. The guy asked me if I wanted some potatoes. I said no not this time, then he said
    in CAMOTE?
    What??? this greek guy said camote? He then explained to mw you know the sweet potatoes you eat!

    I was stumped!!! He asked me how I eat my camote (a greek man asking me this) I said nice boiled slathered with butter.
    Or camote que.. I could have gone on and on including this one but… I was still in shock.

    He said ” I love mine boiled then drizzled with honey!!”
    Hey thats a greek guy and he said to me come back September I have the sweetest camote here!

  6. sometimes, instead of cubed camote, we cut it na parang fries then fry it w/ brown sugar! delicious!! :D

  7. Hi

    I am searching for recipe in making Minatamis na Garbanzos (chick peas) or beans in Filipino style.

    My brother just arrived from Philippines and he is missing it.

    Your response is very much appreciated.



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