Gamja Jorim (Korean Braised Potatoes)

Gamja jorim (Soy braised potatoes)

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. 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.

Gamja jorim is a braised potato dish. It’s very popular as a side dish at home and restaurants and for home-packed lunch boxes. Jorim refers to dishes made by simmering the main ingredient in sauce until the sauce is reduced. The potatoes are braised in a slightly sweet, soy-based sauce until the sauce is reduced and the potatoes are tender. It’s a filling, inexpensive dish we all grew up on.

This dish can be made with a few staple ingredients in your pantry. I used a carrot and some green pepper for colors, but you can use other colorful vegetables of your choice or simply omit them.

You can also add some gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) and/or gochugaru if you like to add a little heat to the dish.

Gamja jorim (Soy braised potatoes)

3 medium white potatoes (about 3 cups cut)
1 carrot
3 green chili peppers (or 1/2 green bell pepper)
1/4 medium onion

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.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, garlic, corn syrup, pepper and water.

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. 

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  1. foodiefranklin says:
    Wow, my girlfriend is Chinese and we make a lot of Chinese food - but we both love Korean food. We'll try this recipe! I see you mention cooking wine. You ever hear of this stuff: They blend really nice wines for cooking and I've had a lot of luck with them. Just thought I'd share.

    Thanks for posting the recipe!
  2. I used this recipe tonight and it turned out great! My final product wasn't as good as yours was in Berlin, but I think that's because you have a mother's touch :)
  3. Really like this recipe. I tried it for dinner tonight and my husband loves it. Thank you for sharing it.
  4. Thank you, Anonymous, for trying the recipe and taking the time to let me know how it turned out for you. I am so happy to hear your husband loved it.
  5. Lilluz says:
    I made and shared this recipe with my friends who are vegetarians and your gamja jorim now makes a weekly appearance on their dinner table!
  6. naptime_blogger says:
    Does this work with sweet potato? Going to try it *fingers crossed* I hope it turns out tasty :)
  7. Hello, from Hangzhou, China! I tried this recipe, but omitted the honey and the rice wine and added extra peppers and a scoop of red pepper flakes and it was delicious! Your site is banned in China, so I have to access it through the VPN but it's totally worth it!
  8. Hello! Finding your website is a true godsend! I'm Korean American and my mom makes amazing Korean foods each day, but never measures anything! I'm so happy to have found your site, and can't wait to try more recipes. I just made this recipe (omitting the wine, as I'm currently out) and it was fantastic! Thank you thank you!
    • Hello Laura - Thanks for the nice words! I'm glad to hear this recipe turned out well for you. Use the recipes and keep watching your mom cooking. You'll become a great home cook like your mom. Look forward to hearing more about your Korean cooking. Cheers!
  9. MotherOf3 says:
    Hi there! How long can this dish be kept in the fridge? I have friends coming over in a few days and I want to do some dishes ahead of time. Do you think I can make a big batch of this and store some in the freezer?
  10. I tried the recipe with just potatoes and just a little pieces of korean chile for color and taste. I added more sugar and syrup because i like sweet. I reduced it with the top cover off and i would make it again. So easy and yummy. My hubby didn't like it too much but he's not one for Korean food (he didn't like kimchi either) but i thought it was gooood.
    • Hi lily - Great to hear it turned out well for you! That's nice you adjust the sugar level to your taste. Thanks for using my recipe and coming by!
  11. Hi, Wondering if Mirin would work for the sweet wine? Thank you!
  12. Made this last night but I used a full tablespoon of sesame oil and also added a generous amount of chopped green onions. It was soooo good! I'm normally not much of a potato fan (yes, blasphemy), but I'll be making this again.
  13. Victoria says:
    I made this tonight and it was soooo delicious ! Thank you
  14. caissinha says:
    I made this Saturday with only potatoes and it was so good! I used maple syrup mixed with agave as I don't have corn syrup in the house and it was very good, everyone loved it. It's quick to prepare too, it was ready in no time.
  15. Anna Banana says:
    Thank you for this recipe! In fact, I have tried a lot of your recipe and never left a comment.... I did not have corn syrup, so I used honey; I also added fish cake, subbed green bell pepper instead of green chili, and added jalapenos. Something about jalapenos in Korean dishes that I just love! My mum uses glucose syrup and she told me, using syrups makes a difference rather than sugar or honey. Next time!!
  16. Since finding your site a couple of years ago, this is the recipe I return to whenever I crave Korean food. Thank you so much for sharing.