Goguma Mattang is a Korean sweet potato dish created by deep frying sweet potato chunks in oil, then tossing them in a sweet syrup. This may be my new favorite way of eating sweet potatoes. They are highly addictive and don’t take much prep work or ingredients. The sweet potatoes end up crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and covered with a sweet honey sugar coating. Korean sweet potatoes are recommended, but I couldn’t find them at the time.
Transfer the sweet potatoes immediately to the serving plates when done before the honey coating gets a chance to cool. They will be very hot, so be careful and let the sweet potatoes cool for a few minutes before eating. In Korea, ice water is sometimes served with the sweet potatoes to allow them to be eaten immediately by dipping each piece in before taking a bite.
For those that want to avoid deep-frying the sweet potato pieces, Beyond Kimchee has a delicious sounding variation. She coats the sweet potato bits in cinnamon sugar, steams them, then seasons with orange, sesame seeds, and pecans.
Goguma Mattang (Korean Caramelized Sweet Potatoes)
Adapted from My Korean Kitchen
2 medium sweet potatoes (13-15 ounces, 370-420 grams), Korean sweet potatoes if you can find them
Vegetable oil for deep frying
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown or yellow sugar
1 tablespoon rice bran or vegetable oil
Sesame seeds (white or black) or chopped nuts for garnish
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into about 1 inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and use a towel to dry the sweet potatoes.
Fill a large saucepan with enough vegetable oil to cover the sweet potato pieces and place over medium high heat.
Once the oil has reached about 350 degrees F, add the sweet potato pieces and cook until golden on exterior and soft in the center, 5-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.
In a large wok or pan, combine honey, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low once it starts to boil. Add the sweet potato pieces once the sauce has turned golden. Toss to coat well for about 2 minutes.
Immediately transfer to serving plates and garnish with sesame seeds or chopped nuts.