A sweet, salty and subtly spicy banchan (Korean side dish) that’s easy to make even for non-Asians. A whiff of sesame, added at the end of cooking, makes it a complete feast for the senses.
The saltiness and lovely color of the dish is courtesty of soy sauce. The sweetness is provided by sugar and rice wine. The subtle heat comes from garlic and chilies.
Subtle heat? Aren’t all Korean dishes super spicy? No, not all of them. And since this is home cooking, for non-Koreans who aren’t used to the level of spiciness that Koreans consider ordinary, the heat can be adjusted by using less chilies.
Braised Baby Potatoes (Gamja Jorim)Recipe by
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine (mirin was used here)
- ½ teaspoon grated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 20 baby potatoes rinsed, scrubbed and cut into halves
- 1 medium carrot peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- 2 chilies sliced into rings
- 1 onion peeled and cut into one-inch chunks
- Make the sauce by stirring all the ingredients together with half a cup of water.
- Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan or wok.
- Spread the baby potatoes in the hot oil and cook over high heat, stirring often, until the edges are just starting to brown.
- Add the carrot cubes and continue cooking for a minute.
- Pour in the sauce.
- Add the chilies.
- Cover the pan loosely and cook until the baby potatoes are soft but not mushy and the sauce has reduced to a couple of tablespoonfuls.
- Throw in the onion. Cook, tossing, until the onion pieces are just starting to turn translucent and the sauce has reduced to sticky syrup-like consistency.
- Off the heat, drizzle in the sesame seed oil, sprinkle in the toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes, and toss a few more times.
- Transfer the braised baby potatoes to a bowl (or small bowls) and sprinkle with scallions.
- Serve your braised baby potatoes hot or at room temperature.