Saturday, March 2, 2013

Korean Potato Side Dish (GamJa JoRim 감자 조림)


This is a new dish which I just learnt to cook using a new sauce which I have just bought - Korean Rice Syrup or Korean Cooking Syrup. Thanks to the chinese groceries store in Wijnegem, I am buying more and more korean cooking supplies since they stock enough korean foodstuff for me to experiment and venture out of my comfort zone into unknown territory. Kamsahamnida 감사합니다! If you have been following my blog, you would know about my experiments on making korean kimchi and korean spicy pork, so now I am taking one step further and trying out my cooking skills on other korean side dishes.


Korean Rice Syrup

Anyway, the reason why I cooked this dish was because I knew that His Majesty would refuse to touch the smoked salmon and feta cheese in the pasta which I prepared last Thursday, for some reason or another. So in other to appease him (otherwise he would fly into a rage and refuse to eat his dinner and papa would send him to sleep without eating), I set aside a portion of the pasta with only cherry tomatoes and no other ingredients. At the same time, I cooked this korean potato side dish specially for him.

This korean potato side dish is called GamJa JoRim (감자 조림). I hope I copy-and-paste correctly, hehe. It is sweet and flavourful due to the addition of the Korean Rice Syrup, and from what I understand, this is a side dish that kids love to eat in Korea. Actually adults too! His Majesty loved this dish, he had his plain pasta with cherry tomatoes and a serving of this Potato JoRim, and after eating his portion, he asked for a second helping and a third helping and he finished them all! 

This dish is cheap, simple and nourishing. Some Belgian kids eat french belgian fries everyday as staple food. In our family, we eat rice and pasta instead of fries, fries is an ocassional treat, say once every 2 weeks when we bake a steak or cook some beef stew. We are the exception rather than the norm in Belgium, I think. In my humble opinion, this is a healthier alternative than deep-fried fries. What's more, it is very delicious!


Recipe adapted from Aeri's Kitchen

Ingredients
3 medium sized potatoes (I used 5 small potatoes)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 to 2.5 tbsp light soya sauce
1 to 1.5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Korean Corn Syrup (I am using Korean Rice Syrup as shown above)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp sesame seeds (I left this out as I ran out of sesame seeds!)

Method
1. Peel the skin of the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes

2. Heat up a non-stick pan to medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp oil and fry the chopped potatoes for about 5 min till 1/3 cooked. Note that your potatoes have to be chopped into 1/2-inch bite-size cubes, otherwise it will take a longer time to cook.

3. After 5 min, add water (1/2 cup), light soya sauce (2 to 2.5 tbsp), korean corn syrup or rice syrup (2 tbsp), sugar (1 to 1.5 tbsp) and minced garlic (1 tbsp). Cook for another 5 min at medium-high heat. [already 10 min]

4. Now taste to see if you need to add a pinch of salt, I thought it was flavourful enough with 2.5 tbsp light soya sauce, so I skipped adding the salt at this point.

5. Cook until the liquid is reduced to a paste, which should take another 5 min. [already 15 min]. 

6. Reduce temperature to medium and cook for another 5 to 7 min. I have already reduced the temp to medium after 12 min or so, and my potatoes were done before 20 min was up. [total 20 min]


Note: If you don't have Korean Corn Syrup or Rice Syrup, you can try using maltose or honey, but the amount has to be halved, since maltose or honey is much thicker. But I would strongly recommend you to get a bottle from the nearest korean supermart. It is very cheap, only 2,20 euro for a 700ml bottle!

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