Saturday, August 16, 2008

Faux Kamote-Que

Forgive me if I wax nostalgic again for a second.

Okay, so it will take several seconds, maybe stretching into a couple of minutes, at this rate of long-windedness.

One of my favourite childhood snacks is the kamote-que, skewered pieces of sweet potatoes that have been fried with brown sugar.

Since we don't have our own picture of a camote-que, here's a wimpy TS illustration. Haha.

We used to get these kamote-ques off street vendors waiting outside our school for one peso a stick. Biting through the crackly caramelized sugar coating onto the sweet, sticky, and sometimes gooey sweet potatoes was simply amazing.

There were two versions of kamote snacks I remember. After several years of selling kamote-ques, our vendor "innovated" and introduced the kamote-cake, which are strips of sweet potatoes stuck together to make a disc. Searching for this online, I now learn that these are called "kalingking." (Kalingking info at Lafang.)

Not exactly a pretty name, but for sure the kalingking were kings of yummy. I waited for the kamote vendor and wanted to be pleasantly surprised which version of kamote goodness he had for the day.

Is it kamote or camote? -que or -cue?

In any case, we made faux camote-ques for our Canada Day potluck BBQ because, well, it's easier. No skewering, no batch pan-frying with brown sugar. Actually, I think it's because I didn't know for sure how to make them. =) If anybody knows how to make them for real, please share!

Faux camote-ques are dead easy. I sliced the sweet potato into rounds and lay them on a sheet pan. A generous amount of brown sugar on each, and into the oven they went.

Near the end, they weren't caramelizing as much as I wanted, so I broiled them for a few seconds.

(Of course, you can also pan-fry them in oil or butter instead of doing the oven/broiling method.)

That's it!

These faux camote-ques have to be eaten right away. We had a few left sitting out and the sugar turned liquid again after all that time. Still good, but not great without its crackly sugar "crust". (The above picture lost its crust already. Boohoo.)

For more about banana-ques and camote-ques, see this Market Manila post.

Were submitting this to Potato Ho-Down, hosted this month by Krysta of Evil Chef Mom.

We had a bit of trouble coming up with our "ho" names since we've never had pets nor do we have middle names!

We're going with Sherli Hon Dory.

We keep seeing this vegetable (greens) in the supermarket called "Sher Li Hon". Everytime we see it, JS keeps remarking that she finds that vegetable extremely flirty -- you may even say, "ho-ish", with a name like Sher Li Hon.

I then found it highly amusing to envision Sher Li Hon and John Dory (the fish) getting together. Haha. (Maybe it's just me.)

So, that's our ho name. Sherli Hon Dory.

The round-up should appear sometime after Aug 17. =)

Our previous Potato Ho-Down dishes:
Faux Kamote-Que
Duck Fat Potatoes
Potato Cornmeal Foccacia
Potatoes Simmered in Miso
Moroccan Chicken Tagine

[eatingclub] vancouver Filipino food
Mama's Ampalaya (Bitter Melon)
Faux Kamote-Que
Philippine-Style Chicken "BBQ"
Fried Hasa Hasa (Mackerel)
"Savory" Chicken Wings
Sinamak (Chile-infused Vinegar)
Pan-roasted Halibut w/ Fava Beans, Potato-Onion Cakes & Bagoong Butter Sauce
Bulalo & Bangus: an even simpler Filipino meal
Baked Tahong (Mussels)
Adobo Kangkong (Adobo Water Spinach)
Oyster Torta (Oyster Omelette)
Chicken Tinola (Chicken Soup w/ Green Papaya & Pepper Leaves)
(Chinese) Roast Pork Belly / Lechon
Tilapia wrapped in Banana Leaves
Pork Belly, Two Ways
Chicken Adobo
Salabat (Ginger Tea)
Lechon Manok (Philippine Roast Chicken) & Lechon Sauce
"Chinese Adobo" Clams and Oysters
Bistek (Citrus Beef with Caramelized Onions)
Beef Kaldereta (Beef Stew with Bell Peppers)
Atsara (Green Papaya Pickle)
Sardinas na Bangus (Milkfish in the style of Sardines) and Pressure Cooker Fear


  1. I was squinting hard with that first photo. I thought something was seriously wrong with it. Should've read the caption first.
    I have no idea how to make them either but it looks like your version isn't faux at all.

  2. Faux or not, they still sound delicious!

  3. This looks know though, a concoction of brown sugar, a touch of cinnamon, and vanilla would probably be great on this. Yup - this looks good. Almost reminds me of a sweet potato pie.


  4. I think the camote strips fried in batter is also called maruya.

    Marketmanila has posted a blog on it:

    Sarap nang camote-que and banana-que. The 2 street foods that were deemed safe to eat by my parents back when I was just a kid.

    Your faux camote-cure looks so good and being baked, it's not greasy at all.

  5. Nowadays, the camote cues are not cut into circles anymore. They are cut like french fries, so no need for sticks. Probably to shorten the cooking time. Even the fishballs are not sold in sticks anymore! They are served on a disposable eensy-weensy paper plates (Where you also put the sauce) and toothpicks. Sosyal na!

    And the camote cues are deep fried! I think my mom knows how, will ask her to share the recipe... ;)

  6. sweet potatoes & caramelized brown sugar, bring it on...sounds like the perfect snack

  7. jude:
    Haha, besides mediocre photography skills, I also have bad computer graphics/illustration skills. That was the best I could do. =D

    Wow, "strict naman ng parents mo." Bwahaha.

    We ate a variety of stuff from the street vendors outside school. Fishballs, various types of dried pusit, green mango with bagoong, corn on the cob with Star margarine, chicken intestines on a stick, spiced ham sandwich, melon juice, etc etc etc. Of course, some of these items were sold in those undoubtably-non-food-safe (aka "TOXIC") plastic bags. Hahahaha. =D

    Wow, parang ang sarap tuloy. I guess our childhood was very fun and happy! Teehee.

    I don't think I've ever had maruya... or at least, that I recall.

    Really? They're not on sticks anymore?! Even the fishballs?! But eating from a stick is the best! Isn't it hard to have to hold a plate in one hand and use toothpicks in the other? The stick was very convenient. ;)

    Yes, please! We would love to know how it's made successfully.

  8. It's amazing what you can learn on blogs Sherli Hon Dory:D

  9. These are amazing, just amazing. I love your Ho name too...perfect and creative! Thank you so much for playing this month!

  10. LOL - that first photo had me confused for a while! And I'm interested to see how similar this is to a traditional South African dish "gestoofde soetpatats" (stewed sweet potatoes - here's the recipe I posted:

    There's something about buttery caramelised sweet potato that's hard to bead...

  11. A wonderful entry. I love sweet potatoes.

  12. I love camote-cue (and banana-cue).
    I also love the ones sold in Baguio, French fries style sprinkled with either salt or powdered sugar, yum!

  13. Sweet potatoes with brown sugar sounds like a nice treat!

  14. Maybe one of these days, we'll try to do it the "old-fashioned" way, on sticks. =)

    Bellini Valli & Cathy/N. Pig:
    JS said that we should've mentioned that John Dory was John HUNKY Dory. Teehee.


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