Chop the potatoes into cubes and cover with water. Boil until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the salt and sugar to Step 1 and use a large fork or potato masher to mash (as if making the filling for croquettes).
Add water to the shiratamako and mix. Divide into 8 portions. Place each portion on plastic wrap and spread them out thinly. Divide the mixture from Step 2 into 8 portions, place on each portion of rice flour, and roll into balls.
Place Step 3 on parchment paper and place them in a steamer. Steam for 10 minutes.
Coat with kinako while they are still hot (while the surfaces of the dumplings are still moist) to finish.
Story Behind this Recipe
Since making red bean paste takes time, and I didn't have any sweet potatoes, I figured I could try using regular potatoes. And when I tried it out, they came out voluminous and were a perfect snack.
If the surfaces of the dumplings dries out and the kinako doesn't stick, you can dip them quickly in hot water to get the kinako to stick. These are not sweet dumplings, but if you want to turn them into a dessert, then increase the amount of sugar or add butter to the potatoes.