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The potato came rather early to East Asia after its ”discovery” by Europeans. At the beginning of the XVIIth century, it was a delicacy at the Chinese emperor’s table. In many regions, it surpassed rice because cultivating it does not require as much water and land, especially in northern and/or drier area. The potato came to the Korean peninsula probably through China.

During World War II, it became a main source of food since occupied Korea was required to send rice to Japan. Still today, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea is one of the main potato producers in Asia. In South Korea, Gamja Jorim (or braised potatoes) has become a classic side dish, often packed in lunch boxes. Funnily enough, it is often served… with rice. 

Ingredients :

  • 500gr / 18 ounces baby potatoes (red or white), skin on
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil 
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup / 250 ml  water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or your choice of sweetened syrup) 
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Braising sauce:

  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon  rice wine 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Recipe :

Either cut the potatoes into little cubes or slice them in two, it’s up to you. Pan-fry the potatoes on high heat, turning them regularly until they are half-cooked. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes then add the garlic, honey, soy sauce, brown sugar and water,. 

Reduce heat to medium and let it simmer for about 5 minutes if you cut the potatoes in cubes, 10 minutes if you used halves. The sauce should be thick. Stir from time to time.

Reduce the heat to low and add the honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Let it cook for 5 minutes (or 10 for half-potatoes) however, check if they are fully cooked, it might not take that long. Stir often. The potatoes should be coated with the sticky sauce. 

Once cooked,allow them to sit in the fridge for 10 minutes. 

Bon appétit ! 


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