This past summer, I spent a couple of weeks on vacation in Berlin with my children. After several days eating German food, we felt it would be a nice change to have a home-cooked Korean meal. We cooked some rice and had a quick version of kimchi I had made with local cabbage a couple of days before. All we needed was some banchan (side dishes). We had gim (nori) and fried some eggs. Looking through the fridge, I found some potatoes and decided to make Gamja (potatoes) Jorim, a simple and common Korean side dish. Jorim refers to dishes made by simmering the main ingredient in sauce until the sauce is reduced. The dish turned out delicious even without all the conventional ingredients. After this memorable meal thousands of miles away from home, my daughter asked me to write my recipe for gamja jorim.
3 medium white potatoes (about 3 cups cut)
3 green chili peppers (or 1 green bell pepper)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine (or other cooking wine)
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon corn syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch of black pepper
Peel and cut potatoes into about 1½-inch chunks. Cut the carrot and green peppers into big chunks. Mix the first 5 sauce ingredients.
In a small pot, sauté the potatoes and carrots in vegetable oil over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes. Add the sauce mix and bring it to a boil with the pot covered. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is reduced to a thick sauce just enough cover the bottom of the pan (about 7 to 8 minutes - less if you cut potatoes smaller). Stir in the green peppers and the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer (uncover this time to make it shiny) for additional 2 - 3 minutes until the green peppers are wilted but still green.