Asian Recipes/ Entrees / Appetisers/ Recipes/ Side Dish

Epic Korean Braised Potatoes – Gamja Jorim

17/02/2022

Elevate your potatoes with this amazing Korean side dish. Soy braised potatoes are simmered to perfection, beautifully balancing savoury and sweet with a touch of spice. Serve Gamja Jorim alongside steamed rice and your favourite dishes like Bulgogi

Gamja Jeon in a bowl with a garnish of spring onion.

Why We Love This

A simple Korean potato side dish to go with any meal. The sweet and savoury braising sauce brings so much flavour to the little bite sized pieces of soft and tasty potato. 

While gamja jorim is best eaten straight away, it also works well as a cold side salad with a work lunch. We also find this a great way to use up a bag of potatoes.

Bowl of Korean braised potatoes on a dark background.

What is Gamja Jorim? 

Gamja jorim (​​감자조림) is a simple Korean potato side dish (banchan) consisting of potatoes (regular or baby) braised in a sweet soy and sesame sauce.

The potatoes are fried first, before simmering in the sauce to soften the potato. Once cooked through, the sauce is then thickened until sticky and clinging to the potato.

Majority of the time, restaurants in Korea will serve this dish cold, but it tastes just as good (if not better) when served piping hot straight from the pan.

What You’ll Need

  • Potatoes – White potatoes or any waxy variety of potatoes (such as baby potatoes, red fingerling, or yukon) work better than starchy potatoes because they hold their shape nicely. Dice large potatoes into small 2.5 cm / 1 in chunks, or use whole mini / baby potatoes if they’re already small. Sub with regular white potatoes if you need – they will be extra fluffy inside but might fall apart more easily while cooking, so be gentle. 
  • Garlic – Use two fresh cloves of garlic, sliced into thin strips or chopped if you prefer. Sub with minced garlic if you need. You can also add a small amount of ginger (freshly sliced or minced) if you want to!
  • Brown Onion – Chopped into chunks. 
  • Soy Sauce – Regular or light soy sauce works best. If using a dark soy sauce, halve the amount used. You can also sub with kecap manis and omit the honey.
  • Gochujang – Sub with gochugaru chilli flakes or black pepper if you need. Sriracha, doubanjiang and sambal oelek are also good substitutes!
  • Honey – We’re using honey as the sweetener for the dish and to add gloss. Sub with golden syrup or maple syrup for the vegan option.
  • Sesame Oil – For seasoning once the dish has cooked. Use store-bought or sub with your own homemade sesame oil in a pinch.
  • Vegetable Oil – Any neutral flavoured oil with a high smoke point suitable for frying.
  • Garnishes – Fresh spring onion and a scattering of sesame seeds.
Ingredients laid out to make Korean braised potatoes.

How to make this epic Korean Braised Potatoes:

  1. Optional: Peel your potatoes. If using regular large potatoes, chop them into 6-8 pieces. For small baby potatoes, leave them whole.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large dish and cover with water (cold or room temperature is fine) for around 10 minutes. Give them a good swish around using your hands then drain. Note: Skip if using whole baby potatoes.
  3. Prepare a large frying pan over high heat and drizzle in your vegetable oil. Once heated, throw in your garlic for a few seconds, then your potato pieces and fry until they start to brown on the outsides (around 2-3 minutes), sealing the skin.
  1. Next, add your chopped onion and continue frying for a few more minutes. Now it’s time to add the sauce! Pour in the soy saucegochujang (oyster sauce for non-spicy), honey and water.
  2. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover with a lid for 10 minutes to soften the potato.
  3. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and reduced (around a minute or two). Switch off the heat and garnish with the sesame oilchopped spring onion and sesame seeds, then toss together.
  4. Serve immediately alongside other sides such as steamed ricepickleskimchi etc.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Make the Sauce First – That way it’s ready to go as soon as the potatoes are ready for braising.
  • Potatoes – Always rinse the potatoes after chopping into chunks to remove excess starch. For white potatoes or any starchy potatoes, soak them in water for 10 minutes first and drain well.  
  • Test They’re Done – Use a toothpick to check if the potatoes have softened through. 
  • Temperature – You can enjoy the finished potatoes hot and freshly cooked, cold or at room temperature. 
  • Don’t Stir Too Much! Especially if using larger chopped potatoes. The more you stir the potato, the more the edges will start breaking down while braising. So stir less to keep your shape!

FAQs

Do I need to boil the potatoes first?

It’s not necessary. You’ll be braising them with the lid on for part of the cooking process, which will cook them through evenly.

What should I serve with Korean braised potatoes?

As a side dish this pairs perfectly alongside kimchi, bulgogi / Korean BBQ meats etc. Make it a full spread with your favourite Asian pickles – daikon / takuan, garlic and onion.

As a snack, pair them with your favourite dipping sauces such as gochujang mayo, creamy sesame sauce or kewpie mayo.

Why is my potato turning mushy?

You may have overcooked and / or overstirred the potatoes. Next time, cook them for a few minutes less or stir less for best results.

What’s the best way to store after cooking?

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. While they can be frozen, we find freeze has the best texture. We also find eating them cold the next yields so much more flavour once it’s soaked even further into the potato.

Sauce not thickening?

If you choose to make a less sweet version or omit the sugar, the sauce won’t thicken as much or be as glossy. One way to thicken is to make a cornstarch slurry of 1/2 tbsp cornstarch with 1/2 tbsp cold water. Mix this together then add to your potatoes and stir, stir, stir!

Variations

  • Add Flavour – Add fresh grated ginger for extra flavour. 
  • Add Veggies – Fry and braise carrots, capsicum / bell peppers or turnips alongside your potatoes. OR stir fry them separately and serve the braised potatoes on top. 
  • Make It a Salad – Serve your gamja jorim over fresh or blanched leafy greens (think spinach, morning glory or bok choy).
  • Optional Garnish – Sprinkle the braised potatoes with your favourite combo of sesame seeds, fresh spring onion, gochugaru chilli powder or shichimi chilli powder, aonori seaweed flakes or grated garlic.
  • Swap the Potato – You can use sweet potatoes instead of traditional potatoes if you prefer.
Glossy pieces of braised potato in a frying pan.

Here’s more potato based recipes to try next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Bowl of Korean braised potatoes topped with sesame seeds.

Epic Korean Braised Potatoes – Gamja Jorim

Elevate your potatoes with this amazing Korean side dish. Soy braised potatoes are simmered to perfection, beautifully balancing savoury and sweet with a touch of spice. Serve Gamja Jorim alongside rice and your favourite dishes like Bulgogi.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Soaking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Course: Appetiser, Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 4 side serves
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

For the sauce

Instructions

  • Optional: Peel your potatoes. If using regular large potatoes, chop them into 6-8 pieces. For small baby potatoes, leave them whole.
    500 g potatoes
  • Place the potatoes in a large dish and cover with water (cold or room temperature is fine) for around 10 minutes. Give them a good swish around using your hands then drain. Note: Skip if using whole baby potatoes.
    500 g potatoes, 1-2 cups water
  • Prepare a large frying pan over high heat and drizzle in your vegetable oil. Once heated, throw in your garlic for a few seconds, then your potato pieces and fry until they start to brown on the outsides (around 2-3 minutes), sealing the skin.
    2 garlic, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 500 g potatoes
  • Next, add your chopped onion and continue frying for a few more minutes.
    1/2 onion
  • Now it’s time to add the sauce! Pour in the soy sauce, gochujang (oyster sauce for non-spicy), honey and water.
    3-4 tbsp soy sauce, ½ tbsp Korean hot pepper paste / gochujang, 1 tbsp honey, ½ cup water
  • Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover with a lid for 10 minutes to soften the potato.
  • Remove the lid and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and reduced (around a minute or two). Switch off the heat and garnish with the sesame oil, chopped spring onion and sesame seeds, then toss together.
    1 spring onion / green onion, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • Serve immediately alongside other sides such as steamed rice, pickles, kimchi etc.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Make the Sauce First – That way it’s ready to go as soon as the potatoes are ready for braising.
  • Potatoes – Always rinse the potatoes after chopping into chunks to remove excess starch. For white potatoes or any starchy potatoes, soak them in water for 10 minutes first and drain well.  
  • Test They’re Done – Use a toothpick to check if the potatoes have softened through. 
  • Temperature – You can enjoy the finished potatoes hot and freshly cooked, cold or at room temperature. 
  • Don’t Stir Too Much! Especially if using larger chopped potatoes. The more you stir the potato, the more the edges will start breaking down while braising. So stir less to keep your shape!
  • Add Flavour – Add fresh grated ginger for extra flavour. 
  • Add Veggies – Fry and braise carrots, capsicum / bell peppers or turnips alongside your potatoes. OR stir fry them separately and serve the braised potatoes on top. 
  • Make It a Salad – Serve your gamja jorim over fresh or blanched leafy greens (think spinach, morning glory or bok choy).
  • Optional Garnish – Sprinkle the braised potatoes with your favourite combo of sesame seeds, fresh spring onion, gochugaru chilli powder or shichimi chilli powder, aonori seaweed flakes or grated garlic.
  • Swap the Potato – You can use sweet potatoes instead of traditional potatoes if you prefer.

    Nutrition

    Nutrition Facts
    Epic Korean Braised Potatoes – Gamja Jorim
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    180
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    2
    g
    3
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    6
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    Sodium
     
    771
    mg
    34
    %
    Potassium
     
    794
    mg
    23
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    38
    g
    13
    %
    Fiber
     
    4
    g
    17
    %
    Sugar
     
    7
    g
    8
    %
    Protein
     
    5
    g
    10
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    38
    IU
    1
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    36
    mg
    44
    %
    Calcium
     
    44
    mg
    4
    %
    Iron
     
    2
    mg
    11
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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    Epic Korean Braised Potatoes - Gamja Jorim

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