Sweet n’ Spicy Braised Potatoes (감자조림)


There are a million and one ways to cook potatoes. They can be grilled, boiled, sautéed, braised, mashed, baked, and microwaved. Yes—microwaved. I used to have a coworker who would microwave potatoes for lunch, whenever I saw the microwave timer set for 7 minutes or more, I knew there was a potato rotating in that microwave.


There are a million and one ways to cook potatoes. They can be grilled, boiled, sautéed, braised, mashed, baked & microwaved. Yes—microwaved.

If you’ve ever had a Korean meal, chances are, the main dish was preceded by a bunch of small appetizer dishes containing foods like dried fish, pickled carrot, fish cakes, kimchi, and potatoes. These little dishes are called banchan. One of my favourite banchans is Kamja Jorim, which is a chilled braised potato dish. My version of this is sweet n’ spicy braised potatoes which be served hot as a family style dish or chilled and served as a banchan.





Sweet n’ Spicy Braised Potatoes Korean Style (감자조림)

YIELD: 4-6 portions when served as family style dish (if serving as banchans, this recipe can make 16 portions)
TOTAL TIME (active + inactive time): 35 min
CREDITS: Inspired by Korean Savory Caramalized Potatoes (Kamja Chorim)


  • 4 yellow potatoes (medium size)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tspn red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp oil (for sautéing)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 green onions stalks
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of water
  • honey (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tspn sesame oil
  • 1 tspn sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Peel and cube the potatoes into roughly 2 cm pieces. Slice the green onion stalks into 1 cm pieces. Stir together 1/2 cup of water, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and chilli flakes.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and half of the green onions, sautéing until fragrant, roughly 30 seconds. Add the potatoes and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil, followed by turning the heat down to a low simmer. Cover partially and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. If all the water has been absorbed, add 1/2 a cup more, to avoid drying out the potatoes during this stage.
  3. Remove the cover, add another 1/2 cup of water and increase the heat to medium-high, cooking for another 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Test if the potato is done cooking by inserting a fork—if it splits the potato easily, it is ready, if you meet a lot of resistance in the center, cook for a tad longer and test again. Season to your liking and add honey if you feel the potatoes need to be sweeter and water if they are too dry.
  4. Drizzle on sesame oil and the remaining green onions, followed by removing from heat and serving with sesame seeds sprinkled on top.


  • 1/2 tspn of chilli pepper flakes will only add a little heat (in the opinion of a person who doesn’t regularly eat spicy foods), but nothing too overwhelming, adjust to your liking.
  • Chill in fridge until cold if you are planning to serve as banchans (mini-appetizers).



  • Tori
    9 years ago

    Frances! These look AMAZING! I can’t wait to try to make this soon. Your blog is looking great. 🙂 Hope all is well.

    • frances
      9 years ago

      Thanks Tori! All is going great! When are you going to get your blog up and running? I’m so looking forward to seeing it!

  • 6 years ago

    These look so delicious! I’ve never tried braising potatoes, but now I’ve seen this recipe I’m going to add it to my must-try list! After all, there’s only so many times you can eat baked, roasted or boiled potatoes!

    • 4 years ago

      Thank you for the comment Hannah! Sorry for the late reply:)!

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