Korean Braised Potatoes – Gamja Jorim
This is a humble but classic banchan in Korean homecooking – just about every Korean kid grows up eating it.
It was the same for me - my mother loved making gamja jorim. After school, I would fry up a sausage on the side. Take out Tupperware with the gamja jorim from the refrigerator. And scoop myself a bowl of fresh rice – oh, don’t forget about the Kimchi too.
Together, it tasted so good! Nothing complicated – simply nutritious, delicious and filling.(Ah, memories from younger years in California are flashing back as I write this…)
Now, we’ve already made classic gamja sorim. So today, I wanted to add-in a few ingredients and take it to the next level... call it an upgraded, grown-up version!
This new version includes kernels of corn, sliced garlic and chopped chili peppers. I got the recipe inspiration from a Korean cooking FB page called Seasonal Story.
Looking at a photo of their recipe - with kernels of corn drizzling over the potatoes, I could taste the combination of flavors and textures in my mind.
So, I gave it a test run this past weekend and it tasted amazing!
So here I am today, sharing the recipe with you – our Neighbor!
Cooking tips for Korean Braised Potatoes:
In Korea, we typically use al-gamja (small-sized potatoes) for Korean Braised Potatoes. The potatoes should be about ⅓~1/2 the size of your palm. (The smaller the better!)
Can I use waxy, starchy or all-purpose? Yes, all of them will work.
Now, the key step to this dish is knowing when to take the pot off the heat. Reduce it for too long and the mixture will reduce into a sticky taffy-like consistency. Take it off too early and the mixture remains a liquid (no good!).
We want the soy sauce mixture to reduce down until it turns into a slightly-runny glaze.
So how do I know when its ready? When you run a spoon across the bottom of the pan and the liquid doesn’t come back quickly - that’s when you turn off the heat (look below)!
Remember, this leftover sauce will continue to cook from the residual heat in the pan. This is when it turns into a runny glaze
If you can’t find Shishito peppers, that’s ok! Just skip it - it doesn't impact the flavor that much.
When you save the leftover potatoes in the refrigerator, the corn kernels may turn very hard (depending on the type of corn). So, if you’re planning to make a large batch, I would recommend skipping the corn all-together.
However, if you plan to make a small batch and finish it within a day or two – add the corn in. The kernels bring a beautiful contrast in chewing texture.
Alrighty Neighbors - I hope you get a chance to get your hands dirty in the kitchen this week!
P.s. Snap us a photo on IG of your dish if you go for it – we love seeing photos of our culinary creations 😋
-Daniel out 🕺
- 10 Small-Sized Potatoes
- 1 Corn
- 1 large handful of Shishito Peppers (Optional)
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup Water
- 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Mirim (Rice Wine)
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- Few shakes Sesame Seeds
- Few cracks Black Pepper
- Let's start with the corn. Take the kernels off 1 whole corn with your fingers (reference video). Then bring a small pot of water up to boil. Once its boiling, skim off any residual husk or debris that floats to the surface of the water. Then add-in the kernels and let it boil away for 2 minutes. Afterwards, strain and set aside.
- Now, wash 10 small-sized potatoes and gently scrub the skins under running water - we're going to eat the skin, so clean it thoroughly!
- Place the cleaned potatoes into a large pot. Fill the pot with water until the potatoes are fully submerged. Then add some salt (½ Tablespoon). Bring the pot up to a boil. Once its boiling, set a timer for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, carefully strain the potatoes (so the skin doesn't rip) and set it aside for now.
- Onto the Shishito Peppers: Wash the peppers and take off their stems. Use a fork and gently poke a few holes into the peppers (this way the soy sauce mixture will penetrate easily)
- Cut 3 cloves of garlic into thin slices. Set aside for now.
Make Braised Potatoes
- Add 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable oil into a large wok or pot. Place it on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic slices. And once the garlic pieces start to sizzle, add in the blanched potatoes.
- Carefully stir-fry the potatoes around with the garlic in the pan for 1-2 minutes. Then add in 1 cup of water.
- Next add-in: Soy Sauce (4 Tablespoons), Sugar (1 Tablespoon), Mirim (1 Tablespoon). Carefully flip or rotate the potatoes around so that all the ingredients are mixed in well. And double-check that your heat is on a medium flame. Let it simmer away for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, give the potatoes a flip. Then add in the blanched corn kernels.
- Now, we want the soy sauce mixture to continue reducing until there is only about ⅓ of the original amount left. This should take between 5-8 minutes (depends on the size of your potatoes).
- Once you see that there is only ⅓ of the soy sauce mixture left, add in the Shishito peppers. Then add-in the Honey (1 Tablespoon).
- Now we want the remaining ⅓ of the soy sauce mixture to continue reducing until it turns into a runny glaze. To speed up the process now, you can raise your heat to a medium-high. Keep you eye on it! Once the mixture reduces to where you can run a spoon across it (without the liquid coming back quickly) - its finished. Immediately turn off the heat!
- Then use a spoon to pour the runny glaze over the tops of the potatoes.
- Finish with a few cracks of black pepper (5-6 cracks) and a few shakes of Sesame Seeds.
- Plate the potatoes and serve alongside a bowl of fresh rice! Bon Appetit!