Gamja Jorim at Ali Rang

Gamja Jorim at the Ali Rang restaurant in Ottawa

The Gamja Jorim at the Ali Rang restaurant in Ottawa was a simple, but excellent example of this Korean Banchan of Potato in a sweet glaze.

I have previously posted my own Gamja Jorim Recipe, which describes the basic nature of this very popular Korean side dish, and I have to admit, on balance, that the Ali Rang version was just a bit better than mine, despite it being much simpler in execution.

First, by way of introduction, I have to say that Ali Rang numbers among my most favorite restaurants in Ottawa. It is a tiny little place, and, on all but one occasion, the place was so packed that it was necessary to wait for a table each time I have visited.

The service here is very friendly and good (although communications can sometimes be difficult due to language issues) and the food is top-notch. I would also add that this place is probably the more generous than others when it comes to the providing complimentary Banchans, or side dishes, along with main course dishes. On that note, I will also add that, though I only ordered from the Appetizer menu on this particular visit, my very nice server brought me free dishes of Kimchi and other Banchans anyway.

As for the very excellent Gamja Jorim at Ali Rang, the sweet glaze was very light and delicate. My own version, mentioned above, uses both chili flakes and garlic in addition to a fair amount of Brown Rice Syrup and Soy Sauce. At Ali Rang, however, their glaze was little more than a small amount of lightly sweetened Soy Sauce and the delicacy of this really allowed the natural, earthy tones of the Potato to come through beautifully.

One other aspect of the Ali Rang version of this dish was that the chunks of Potato, served cold as is most common, had been fried just a little bit more thoroughly than my own typically are, and this gave them a nice crust with very nice toasty notes. I like my Gamja Jorim very much, but it is always possible to learn something from the professionals.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!