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 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 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine (or other cooking wine)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon corn syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup water
Peel and cut potatoes into about 1-inch cubes. Cut the carrot, green peppers onion into big chunks. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, garlic and corn syrup.
In a small pot (preferably non-stick), 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 over high heat. Cover, and Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 7 to 8 minutes – less if you cut potatoes smaller).
Stir in the green peppers and onion, and continue to boil (uncover this time to make it shiny) for additional 3 – 4 minutes until the sauce is reduced to a thick sauce just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds.