Korean Potato Salad


I may have mentioned before that my love of Korean food is due in large part to the variety of sides that exist to be added to everyday meals. A normal dinner can feel like a feast just with the addition of one or two sides that have been made ahead of time. This potato salad gets better as it sits, so you can make it on the weekend and have a scoop with each meal during the week when you want to make dinner feel a bit more special. Or, if you’ve had a bad day, just eat it for dinner by itself. The flavours go well with pretty much any style of meal, I served it with Teriyaki chicken and the creaminess was a nice contrast.

The original recipe has hardboiled eggs in it but I’m not about that life. Swap ingredients in or out as you please but try to keep some crunchy elements in there for the texture. I’m even thinking of making a version with chopped up pickles in it for extra tang. 

Korean Potato Salad

(Adapted from Korean Potato Salad over at Asian at Home)

500g potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 tbsp cucumber, medium dice

1 tbsp red onion, finely diced

2 tbsp carrot, peeled and finely diced

2 tbsp ham, finely chopped

1/4 cup kewpie mayonnaise

1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tbsp vinegar (your choice)

1/4 tsp salt 

1/4 tsp pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and add 1/2 tsp salt.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 mins or until fully cooked.

While you are waiting for the potatoes to cook, sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over the cucumber and allow it to sit for 5 mins.

Wrap in a paper towel and use it to squeeze out the excess moisture, then set aside.

In a small bowl mix together kewpie, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix until sugar dissolves.

Drain the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl then add the cucumber, onion, carrot, ham and the dressing.

Mix well and don’t worry about the potato breaking down, this is what we want.

Taste and add more salt and pepper to suit your preference.

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins before serving.

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Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Glazed Potatoes)

taters2

These are THE potatoes at our house and much whinging ensues if they are absent from my Korean dinners. The best thing about Korean food is having a whole bunch of different dishes and sides (banchan) to choose from but trying to make five things at once at the end of the day is enough to make me pull my cranky pants on. Sides like these potatoes keep forever so you can make them ahead of time and whip them out for a mid-week Korean feast. Or, if you like to keep it simple, just eat it with rice and kimchi. This recipe does the four of us for one meal but we are crazy for taters.

You can find gochugaru and corn syrup at most Asian supermarkets and all Korean supermarkets.

Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Braised Potatoes)

Adapted from Gamja Jorim (Korean Glazed Potatoes) over at My Korean Eats.

4 tbsp vegetable oil

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes

4 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp corn syrup

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Place a wide-based saucepan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and potatoes.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add soy sauce, brown sugar, gochugaru and garlic.

Stir together and turn the heat down to low, cook for 15 minutes or until you can pierce the potato with a fork.

Add the corn syrup and sesame oil, stir gently to coat the potato.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Eat warm or keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

radish

Get ready for an influx of Korean recipes, I’m working my way through Maangchi’s book. I’ve even bought it for my step-dad, who seems to have fallen in love with Korean food (an interesting dalliance for an Irishman). If you are already a fan of Maangchi’s videos and recipes then this book has some content that isn’t on her website. Hard to believe considering the variety and number that are already available on the web. If you can get a few banchan (side dishes) under your belt then every night will feel like a feast.

These pickles pair well with spicy food, they cool your mouth down and give you a break from the burn. As you may have guessed from the picture, I didn’t cut my radish exactly as small as the recipe says. This wasn’t a problem, I just let the radish pickle for 2 days before I went to town on it. I found the radish at a Korean supermarket but I think Japanese radish would work in a pinch. I used 2 Korean radish (radishes? radishii?) but you proably only need one Japanese radish because they are waaay bigger.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

Recipe slightly adapted from Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking.

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

1 1/3 cup white vinegar

4 tbsp coarse sea salt

3 cups water

900g Korean radish, cut into 7mm cubes

Mix the sugar, vinegar, salt and water in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Place the radish in a glass jar and pour over the prepared liquid (make sure that the liquid covers the radish completely).

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.

Can be kept in the fridge for up to one month.

Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

soybeans2

My obsession with Korean food is reaching new heights, it’s basically soaring on the wings of eagles. My gang is getting at least two Korean dinners a week complete with pancakes and side dishes. The side dishes (called banchan) were the most mind blowing part of the cuisine for me when I first ate at a Korean restaurant. You mean they’re complimentary?! As in free?! And you can get them RE-FILLED?! There will always be kimchi but apart from that there is no restriction on the variety of side dishes that can appear on your table. At Madtongsan 2 (where I drag every unsuspecting person I can get my hands on) they serve kimchi, tuna pasta salad, pickled onion and candied sweet potatoes. Technically these beans are mitbanchan, meaning that they are prepared in advance and are ready to be used with different meals throughout the week. They get chewy after a few hours in the fridge and the sauce thickens nicely.

I couldn’t find black soybeans so I used yellow soybeans that I found at a Chinese supermarket. Korean corn syrup is stocked at most Korean Supermarkets but replace it with honey if you can’t get your hands on it.

Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

Adapted from Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans) over at Korean Bapsang.

1 cup dried soybeans (black, if you can find them)

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Rinse the beans then soak for 3-4 hours in cold water (make sure there is at least twice the amount of water as beans).

Drain the beans, then place in a medium pot with 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil.

Continue to cook without a lid for 5 minutes, stir a couples of times and skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar.

Simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until most of the sauce has evaporated (stir frequently towards the end to avoid the beans sticking).

Add the corn syrup right at the end of cooking, stirring well to coat the beans.

Refrigerate the beans until cold, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving.