Korean Pan-Fried Potatoes (Gamja Bokkeum)
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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. The steam created inside will help to cook the potatoes quicker and makes them tender.
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.
More Potato Recipes
- Turnip Green Potato Soup
- Korean Potato Side Dish (Gamja Jorim)
- Korean Soup with Arugula and Potato
- Cheesy Kimchi Potato Pancakes
- Korean Potato Salad
Korean Pan-Fried Potatoes (gamja bokkeum)
- 2 medium Yukon potato, or 1 large russet potato
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 green onion, thinly sliced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 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.
Super delicious and so easy! Thank you for this recipe as I use it for when I meal prep my lunches for work.
I am so happy to hear that you liked this recipe. I love your idea for lunch prep. Thank you for your comment!
Just a heads up, the carrots, onions, and green onions are not in the ingredients list. But I lived in Korea two years and love Korean food. I’m also Irish, so I love potatoes. Lol Thanks for sharing!
A great alternative to mashed potatoes for the holidays.
Can I use any potato?
Yes, any potato will work. Thanks.
I love pan fried potatoes, any way I can get them! This looks fantastic!
A light and delicious side dish! I like the add of sesame seeds for extra crunchiness and flavour.
you are amazing story teller !
I have been an ardent potato fan since childhood & I love this recipe .
I was feeling little down and it made me smile.
저의 포스팅이 행복함을 가져다준다니 더없이 큰 영광이군요. 자주 방문해주셔서 감사합니다.
음식을 통해서 다른사람들과 교류하는 기쁨이 큽니다. 좋은 하루되세요!
김치(닉네임이 있으신가요?)님의 포스팅 볼때마다 정갈한 음식에 푹 빠져 행복한 기분이 들곤 했어요.
저는 미국에 살고 있는 음식만들기 좋아하고 먹는것도
즐기는 주부랍니다. 새로운 포스팅 올라올때마다 열심히
글 읽고 감사히 레서피 참고하도록 할께요 : )
So beautiful korean food!!
It will be his honor to be eaten by any decent human being 😛
Save the lonely potato by eating them 😀
Thank you for your kindness and thank you for welcoming me on your "virtual" castle!
It's a great joy to visit your blog daily – have you seen the "small" blog roll on my "virtual garden"? I visit them everyday – yours included!!!
Yes, most of my writings are in Portuguese, coz most of my readers only speak Portuguese! I'm planning to write in english more often, specially about my cooking adventures and knitting challenges, but for now I'm working in Brazil – I'm on business trip here – and I badly have no time at all for my kitchen experiments =(
I'm counting days to go back home (in a small island north of Germany), where I have my sweetheart waiting for me!!! (yuuppppiee!!!)
Thank you for your sweet words as well and I see what a gentle person you are (ok, I don't know you in person, but through your texts and the sensitiveness from your photos, I feel the creative and kind heart you have!
Another big hug to you – and my Herr Kartofell (Mr Potato in german) sends happy regards to his adorable korean sibbling =D
(ohhh girl, I tell you: it was soooo good!!!)
My Mr. Potato wouldn't mind having many brothers worldwide! 🙂
Thanks for your kind words. You are such a sweet person. I wish I can understand the language in your blog, I believe it is Portuguese?
Big hug to you too.
This cute story was simply fabulous!!! I loved the way you presented Mr. Potato in all his glory, joy and mmmmm flavor!!!
And I just realized I have one sibbling from your Mr. Potato here in my kitchen – time for him to have a very very happy begining!!!
We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.
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