Banchan: Jorim with Potato – Gamja Jorim

Gamja Jorim 01

The Koreans have a great tradition of serving small side dishes known as ‘Banchan’ along with the rice and other main dish selections of a meal. There are many different varieties, and several types (sometimes just a couple but occasionally, up to twelve, will be served at once, being replenished as necessary. The varieties are organized into categories and today’s recipe is for a type known as a ‘Jorim’ dish, which essentially consists of one or two main ingredients seasoned in a simmered broth. A Jorim could be a main dish, and is then usually served hot, but, as a Banchan, it is often served cold. Today, I am making a potato variety called ‘Gamja Jorim’… 

The Ingredients

  • 1lb potatoes, cut into small dice or irregular chunks;
  • ½ tsp. Salt;
  • 1 tbsp. minced Ginger;
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper flakes;
  • 1 tbsp. toasted white Sesame Seeds;
  • 2 -3 tbsp. Corn Syrup (or honey);
  • 1/8 cup Soy sauce;
  • ¼ cup water;
  • Green Onion, chopped for garnishing.

By the way. Rather than using corny syrup, as is frequently called for in Korean recipes, I am substituting Brown Rice Syrup . This actually seems more Korean than the regular corn variety, although, to be honest, I have never seen it called for in a recipe yet. Still, it should do just as well.

The Method

Gamja Jorim 02

Salt the potatoes and then heat a little vegetable oil in a pan. Sautee the pieces over moderately high heat just until they brown on the surfaces and then add the garlic and red pepper flakes.

Gamja Jorim 03

Once the garlic releases its aroma, add the remaining ingredients (except the chopped green onion) and cook it down until the sauce becomes thick and glazes the pieces. If the potato pieces are not quite tender yet, continue to cook, covered, over low heat until al dente. Allow to cool and then serve. By the way, I had forgotten to add the sesame seeds when I took the above picture, but I rectified that afterwards…

Oh… one of the beauties of this type of dish is that it will easily keep in the fridge for a week or so. Thus you can make a large batch and then serve small amounts at a succession of meals.

The Verdict

Well, I won’t say this was as good as the version I had at Alirang in Ottawa in the spring, but it wasn’t bad either. I would like it a little sweeter, and perhaps with a bit more of a garlic ‘bite’, but other than that I was pretty pleased with this experiment.

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