While I was born in South Korea, my family immigrated to Australia when I was just 4 years old, therefore I never really had a chance to spend much time with my extended family – especially my mother’s parents, whom I’ve always loved and yearned for more time with.
We did go back to Korea for a few years, and that gave me a chance to spend a bit more time with my maternal grandmother which helped me to understand more about the role that food played in our culture, as well as where my mother had picked up her flavour instincts from! Sadly, nanna was taken from us unexpectedly while we were living there, so the only way that I can find out more about her now is through the stories and recipes that my mother shares.
This is one of them. My mother says this is utterly unaltered from the way that nanna made this all her life, and so when I make this recipe, I sometimes like to imagine her busy hands in the place of my own, and wonder whether she would approve of the way that her granddaughter was making this dish 🙂
I’m posting this recipe in reply to a special request by Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness, who wanted it to introduce her son to Korean food. I hope he and the rest of your family enjoy it 🙂
Korean Braised Potatoes
2 large potatoes (or 3 medium)
3-4 cloves garlic
1 – 1 1/2 tsp gochugaru (finely-ground Korean chilli powder)
3 tbsp Korean or Japanese dark soy sauce (not Chinese – it has a completely different flavour)
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp malt syrup
1/2 cup water
A pinch of salt
Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
1. Peel the potatoes, then cut in half lengthways. Take one half of the potato, cut it lengthways again, then turn and cut into fairly evenly-sized pieces (to ensure relatively even cooking). Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
2. Rinse the chopped potato in a bowl of water, then either steam/boil/microwave until the potato is half cooked. This is definitely not a traditional step, but using this shortcut will cut your cooking time in half!
3. Meanwhile, take 3-4 garlic cloves and use your kitchen knife to finely mince them.
4. Once the potatoes are half-cooked, drain them and sit them to cool for about 5 minutes. While they are cooling, mix together the soy sauce, gochugaru (Korean chilli powder), garlic and sugar.
5. Heat a large pot or work with a little olive oil over a very low heat, then slowly sautee the potatoes with a pinch of salt until they can be poked through with a fork without them breaking in half.
6. Once the potatoes have reached this stage, pour over the soy sauce mixture and stir to coat.
7. Add the malt syrup to the water and stir to mix, then add it to the pot and stir well to combine.
8. Put the lid on and allow to slowly cook, making sure to give it a stir occasionally so that the sauce evenly coats the potatoes, and that they do not stick to the pan. You will notice that the longer you braise them, the more the sauce will reduce and the darker it will become.
If the sauce disappears entirely before the potatoes are cooked, add a little more water to the pot and stir it through and keep cooking. You do not want these potatoes to be overcooked – just cooked enough so they hold their shape and are soft to bite all the way through with no crunchiness.
9. DO NOT SERVE THIS DISH HOT! Instead, allow this to cool at least to room temperature (as this is when the flavours will shine most), then plate up and garnish very simply with a pinch of toasted sesame seeds.
[tags]Korean recipes, spicy, savoury, potatoes, vegetarian, side dish[/tags]
Others who have tried this recipe:
- Stephanie @ Dispensing Happiness