Korean Braised Potatoes, Carrot & Sweet Yam

Spicy Korean Braised Potatoes

The other day, I was at H-Mart (Korean hypermart) and ordered my lunch at Yori Yori. I usually eat at another store, but I decided to have something light for lunch, and so I ordered a Rice Cake Soup. Little did I know, this main dish came with a braised potato side dish. I absolutely fell in love with the side dish! I told myself, I needed to find its secret recipe! And, with a mere swipe and click and search on my Iphone, I found a nice recipe from this website. What would one do without Internet nowadays …

Gochujang – Korean Red Chilli Paste [courtesy of Google Images]

One of the ingredients in the recipe is Gochugaru, which is Korean Red Chilli Powder. It is a very common ingredient used in many Korean dishes such as Kimchi  or Bulgogi. I did not see the need to purchase another bag of red chilli pepper because I already had this in my kitchen in the form of coarse flakes. Also, I have Gochujang, which is in a paste form. Additionally, I thought maybe this recipe would go nicely with some sweet yam and carrots as well. So, I did some modifications to the recipe to work with the ingredients I already had in my kitchen. Instead of malt syrup, I just used brown sugar and corn starch to thicken the sauce. Different method and ingredients, same results! Besides, the original recipe recommends to eat this dish when it has cooled down to room temperature. My husband and I were too hungry to wait for it to cool down, so we just ate it hot anyway! It wasn’t too bad, but I guess the spiciness was intensified with the heat. Still, we loved it!

Ingredients (For 2 Servings):

3-4 medium to small red potatoes (washed and peeled)

1 sweet yam (washed and peeled)

1 carrot (washed and peeled)

3-4 garlic cloves (minced)

3 stalks of Chinese chives (minced)

A few lettuce leafs (for garnishing)

1 Tbsp of Gochujang (Korean Red Chilli Paste)

1 tsp of Korean Red Chilli Pepper flakes OR Gochugaru

3 Tbsp of Korean or Japanese dark soy sauce; sauce for sushi (do not use the Chinese soy sauce!)

1 Tbsp of brown sugar

1 tsp of corn starch (or more)

1/2 cup of water

Pinch of salt

Toasted sesame seeds (optional for garnishing)

Instructions:

1. Steam or boil the potatoes, carrots and sweet yam until half cooked. This step is done to shorten your cooking time.

2. Drain the cooked potatoes and let cool for about 5 minutes.

3. Prepare sauce. Mix together soy sauce, Gochujang, Korean red chilli pepper flakes, garlic and sugar. Stir well and set aside.

4. Heat a large wok with some olive oil on low heat, and sauteed the potatoes, carrots and sweet yam slowly until you can poke a fork into the potatoes firmly, without breaking apart the potatoes.

5. Then, pour in the mix, and stir fry to coat the potatoes well.

6. Combine the water and corn starch, stir well until dissolve. Pour the mixture into the wok and stir it in. Put the lid on and let it cook slowly. Stir occasionally so that the potatoes are coated evenly and not sticking to the bottom of the wok. You can add more water + cornstarch mix if it is drying out. At the same time, you can add more Gochujang or Gochugaru if it is not tasty enough.

7. Ensure the potatoes are not overcooked. It should just be good enough to hold its shape and be able to bite softly all the way through. You will notice the sauce will darken the longer it is braised.

8. Prepare a plating dish by laying a few lettuce leaves on it. Transfer the braised potatoes on top. Garnish with the chives (or toasted sesame seeds). Let cool, and then serve!

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