Korean Sweet Soy-Glazed Potatoes (Gamja Bokkeum) Recipe

A simple glazed potato banchan you won't be able to stop making, or eating.

Korean Sweet Soy-Glazed Potatoes

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Gently shallow-frying the potatoes gives them delicately crisp exteriors; simmering them after in a covered saucepan makes their interiors tender and creamy.
  • The savory-sweet soy sauce mixture acts as a braising liquid for the potatoes and then turns into a glossy, sticky glaze when reduced.

If your side dish recipe rotation is feeling a little tired, then this take on gamja bokkeum, a Korean stir-fried potato banchan, is just what you need to get out of that rut.

We start by quickly shallow-frying small Yukon Gold potatoes until they're lightly golden brown. Once they've crisped up, the spuds simmer in a mixture of soy sauce, water, fish sauce, finely grated garlic, and sugar until they're tender and creamy. Then we simply reduce the sauce into a sticky, caramel-like, salty-sweet glaze that coats the potatoes. A final drizzle of toasted sesame oil and a sprinkling of sesame seeds provides a hint of nutty bitterness and contrasting texture to balance the sweetness and stickiness of the glaze.

It's a good thing that this recipe only takes 20 minutes to make because it will be in your side dish lineup from now on.


Watch Now: How to Make Gamja Bokkeum (Sweet Soy-Glazed Potatoes)

February 2020

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Active: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serves: 2 to 4 servings

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  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) soy sauce (see note)

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) water

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) sugar

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce

  • 1 medium clove garlic (5g), finely grated

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil

  • 10 ounces (285g) small Yukon Gold potatoes, rinsed and halved (see note)

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon (6g) toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, water, sugar, fish sauce, and garlic until sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

  2. Pour oil into a 3-quart saucier or saucepan. Add potatoes, arranging them cut-side down in a single layer. Set saucier over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are light golden-brown on cut-side, 5 to 6 minutes.

    Pan-frying halved Yukon gold potatoes and stirring with metal chopsticks.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

  3. Lower heat to medium-low, add soy sauce mixture and stir to combine with potatoes. Cover saucier with a lid, and cook until potatoes are completely tender and offer no resistance when pierced with a cake tester or paring knife, about 10 minutes.

    Simmering potatoes in soy sauce mixture, and testing for doneness with a paring knife.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

  4. Remove lid and increase heat to high. Cook, uncovered, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until liquid has reduced and thickened to a sticky caramel consistency that fully glazes the potatoes, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat, and transfer potatoes to serving bowl. Drizzle with sesame oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

Special Equipment

3-quart stainless steel saucier with lid, heat-resistant spatula


You can use joseon ganjang (Korean soy sauce made from soy alone), yangjo ganjang (Korean soy sauce made from soy plus wheat), or even Japanese soy sauce here, if that's what you have. See our guide to the Korean pantry for more on the most common varieties of Korean soy sauce.

Look for potatoes that are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. If you can't find small potatoes, cut larger Yukon Golds into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Make-Ahead and Storage

This dish is best enjoyed immediately.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
198 Calories
11g Fat
23g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 785mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 7mg 36%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 448mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)