Korean Potato Side Dish {Gamja Jorim}

by fitforthesoul in ,

My husband has always hated vegetables.  I mean, always! From the very first date that we went on I noticed that the only vegetables he was allowing himself to enjoy were spinach, onions, and maybe some tomato.  Of course, none of those ingredients stood alone because they needed to be in the form of a salad bowl with some kind of fruity dressing oozing out of the bowl.

Lord obviously knew that Greg couldn’t remain in that veggie deprived state for the rest of his life, so he met me!  Then I came to the rescue with my Korean background along with my Argentinean twist and introduced him to Korean cuisine.  After trying the variety of fresh and delicious veggie side dishes, he realized that he had been missing out on something so good!  However, that is not to say that he loves vegetables the way I do because one of the only ways he will ever enjoy them is in the form of Korean food.  I, on the other hand, can munch on raw broccoli to my heart’s content.  I mean, isn’t that normal? Smile

Just so that I can emphasize my point let me tell you a funny story.  Last weekend when we celebrated my sister’s birthday at my parents’, Greg said to me with utter excitement, “Ellie you have GOT to try these bean sprouts.  They are sooooo fresh!” 

“Who are you and what have you done to my husband?!” Were my thoughts as I gave him the death stare.

And that’s the not-so-long story behind this easy and personal favorite that I whipped up last night.  It is commonly known as 감자조림 (Gamja Jorim), which translated literally means “stewed or sauteed potatoes”.

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Gamja Jorim {Korean Potato Side Dish}

Instead of Russet potatoes you may use the small golden round potatoes that come in a bag, but you don’t need to peel them.  I actually prefer those over cutting up a big potato because the skin holds the caramelizing nicely within the skin.  The texture is also more toothy, which is my favorite way of eating it!  Pair this dish with rice, different meats, and other veggies for the full Korean experience. 

Serves approximately 3-4 people (Remember, it is not a main dish)


  • 4 C water
  • 2 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (toasted or raw)
  • 3 green onions, chopped (optional)


  1. Prepare a medium pot with the water and bring it to a boil on high heat.  Toss in the potato cubes and bring to a simmer, then cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and put the pot back on the stove.  Turn the heat on low-medium and add the soy sauce, oil, and honey.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon and add the garlic, seeds, and green onion.  Gently toss it while it’s on low-medium heat for about 3 minutes or until it’s somewhat tender but not mushy.
  4. Garnish with more green onions and enjoy!

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April 10-2013 (1 of 1)-193The original way of making this potato dish is with sugar, but I decided to go with honey instead.  And while many people prefer it saltier and sweeter than my recipe, I thought that the amount of flavoring was just right for the other dishes I was pairing this up with.  If you give this recipe a try you can certainly feel free to alter the ingredients!  That’s the beauty of Korean cooking…Pretty much anything goes, as long as you stick to the basic ingredients.

Have a beautiful day!

Do you have a favorite potato dish? 

Were you always a veggie lover/hater?

-I have loved them since day one!  In fact, I even liked spicy kimchi and was notorious for crawling up the dinner table to eat it—at the ripe old age of 2, hah!

How do you encouraged others to eat their greens?

-I know potatoes aren’t a problem for most people and Greg actually likes them!  But this kind of cooking applies to many other side dishes, and he loves them whether they be cabbage, bokchoy, zucchini, etc.


Ellie <33