Korean pan-fried potatoes (gamja bokkeum) is a common Korean potato side dish (banchan) that you often see in many Korean homes. You can stir-fry the potato alone or with other vegetables. Either way, you will have a simple yet tasty banchan to add on to your Korean meal.

Potato strips and shredded vegetables are pan fried in a pan with wooden spatula.

If you visit a Korean home for a home cooked meal, you’ll be constantly amazed at the variety of delicious Korean side dishes served along with main course. This Korean potato stir-fry (gamja bokkeum, 감자볶음) is one that you’ll see pretty often, and it is one dish that I adore.

Gamja bokkeum is a simple Korean stir-fried or pan-fried potato side dish, aka potato banchan (반찬). It’s a gluten-free side dish and perfect for a vegetarian and vegan dieter.

You can stir-fry the potato alone or with some vegetables. Some even add a few strips of ham to make it heartier.

I like mine with whatever simple vegetables I have on hand, usually onion and carrot. The vegetables dress up the plain potato – I like things pretty, even with a boring potato.

Korean side dish made with strips of potatoes and vegetables

When the new potato crop is harvested in the early summer, this potato banchan, along with another potato side dish called “gamja jorim“, is always a hit on many Korean dinner tables. My cookbook, Korean Cooking Favorites, also shares a variety of side dishes that are easy and quick. So check it out.

However, you don’t need to wait to make this simple and quick potato side dish just for the summer. It’s a perfectly good dish to enjoy all year round.

Skillet Choice: Make sure to use a non-stick or well-seasoned skillet to stir-fry. Potatoes have a high starch content and they tend to stick to the skillet or need lots of oil if the the surface of skillet is not properly seasoned or coated.

What you will need for Gamja Bokkeum

Two potatoes, slices of onion, carrot, and green onion are on a plate next to a jar of minced garlic.

The buttery texture of Yukon potatoes is very suitable for this potato side dish. But Russet potatoes are also fine to use. Other than the potatoes, you will need onion, carrot, green onion, and garlic. Nothing exotic!

How to slice a potato into thin strips

Use either tool.

  • A sharp knife
  • A mandolin slicer

I like slicing potatoes thinly with my knife. I have done it many times and it’s not a big deal for me. I will show you how you can slice it into thin strips.

If you prefer using a kitchen tool such as a mandolin slicer instead of a knife, use it by all means. You will need about 1/8-inch thickness.

A small slice of potato is cut off from the bottom with a knife to create a flat surface.

Slice a small piece off the side of the potato. This will provide a flat surface for the potato to stand firmly without being wobbly when you slice it. Nobody likes wobbly vegetables!

A peeled potato is thinly sliced with a knife.

Make sure your knife is sharp. Slice the potato about 1/8-inch thickness. It can be slightly thicker or thinner, no big deal! but the thicker the slices are, the longer it will take to cook.

Thin slices of potato is cut into thin matchsticks with a knife on the cutting board.

Spread the potato slices out like a deck of cards, overlapping with each other, and slice them into 1/8-inch strips. Again, slightly thicker or thinner strips are just fine.

Potato strips are rinsed and drained in a colander inside a large bowl.

You will need to rinse the potato strips under cold running water several times to get rid of the potato starch. Otherwise, the potato strips tend to stick to each other while stir-frying.

Cooking Instructions for Korean Pan-fried Potatoes

A small amount of minced garlic is added to hot oil in a skillet.

Heat oil in a non-stick surface skillet over medium heat, add garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds.

Potato strips are added to the skillet and a wooden spatula is stirring.

Add the potato strips and coat with garlic oil; stir-fry for 1 minute.

A glass dome lid is covering the pan over the stove.

Cover the skillet with a lid and let it simmer for 2 minutes over low heat. The steam created inside will help to cook the potatoes quicker and makes them tender.

Onion, carrot, green onion slices are added to cooked potato strips.

Raise the heat to medium. Add the thinly sliced onion, carrot, and green onion and continue to stir-fry as you season with some salt. Cook until the potatoes are crisp but tender, about 2-3 minutes.

Be careful not to stir-fry too harshly, though. You don’t want to break the potato strips.

Toasted sesame seeds are added on top of potato stir-fry in a pan.

Lastly sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

More Potato Recipes

pan-fried potato and vegetable are dished into a small serving plate with chopsticks.
Potato strips and shredded vegetables are pan fried in a pan with wooden spatula.

Korean Pan-Fried Potatoes (gamja bokkeum)

Korean pan-fried potatoes (gamja bokkeum) is a common potato side dish. You can stir-fry the potato alone or with other vegetables. Learn tips on how to slice and cook the potato properly.
5 from 2 ratings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Yukon potato, or 1 large russet potato
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Instructions 

  • Peel off the skin from the potato. Slice a small piece off the side of the potato. This will provide a flat surface for the potato to stand firmly without being wobbly when you slice it.
  • Slice the potato about 1/8-inch thickness. Spread the potato slices out like a deck of cards, overlapping with each other, and slice them into 1/8-inch strips. Again, slightly thicker or thinner strips are just fine.
  • Rinse the potato strips under cold running water several times to get rid of the potato starch. Drain the potato in a colander to strain excess water.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick surface skillet over medium heat, add garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the potato strips and coat with garlic oil; stir-fry for 1 minute. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it simmer for 2 minutes over low heat.
  • Raise the heat to medium. Add the thinly sliced onion, carrot, and green onion and continue to stir-fry as you season with some salt. Cook until the potatoes are crisp but tender, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to stir-fry too harshly, though. You don't want to break the potato strips.
  • Lastly sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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