Monday, January 17, 2011

Gamja Jorim

When I lived in Los Angeles, the banchan (side dishes) we would receive at Korean restaurants included a winter salad of potato and apples mixed in mayo.  When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, I discovered a new potato side dish - gamja jorim.

I love the simple flavor and would nearly fill up eating just the gamja jorim and japchae (a Korean fried noodle dish) before my entree would arrive!

Gamja jorim is a great item to put in lunches, as you can heat it up, or serve it slightly cold.

Today's recipe is courtesy of Maangchi, which is a great resource for cooking Korean food.

  • 2-3 medium potatoes (or one monster baking potato)
  • onion, white or yellow
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 - 2.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

1.  Wash the potato, peel the skin, and cut into one inch pieces.

2.  Rinse the potato in a colander to remove the starch and allow to drain.

3.  Cut half of the onion into one inch pieces.  Reserve the other half for another use.  (or make a double recipe!)

4.  Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of oil.  I used vegetable oil, Maangchi used olive oil. Either one will be fine.

5.  Add the potato and minced garlic to the pan, and cook until the potato looks translucent.

6.  Add the water, soy sauce, sugar, and corn syrup to the pan.  Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on the pan, until the liquid has evaporated.  You can check with a knife to see if the potato is soft after about 8 minutes - if the knife goes into the potato easily, the potato is done.  Check occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn and stir.

7.  Remove from the pan, add a little sesame oil (optional) and sprinkle sesame seeds (also optional.)  I prefer not to add these to my gamja jorim since I'm not used to that flavor.

Overall verdict:  Delicious.  I made a lot so we were eating it as a side dish with our dinner for a few days.  I almost wanted to make some galbi, some kimchi, some gamja jorim and have a full on Korean meal!  

This recipe is also very easy to make, and a good, basic introduction to Korean cooking that doesn't have a lot of ingredients.

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