Recipe for Goguma Mattang (고구마 맛탕)- fried Korean sweet potatoes tossed in a caramelized honey brown sugar coating and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Goguma Mattang is a Korean sweet potato side dish or snack created by deep frying sweet potato pieces in oil and tossing them in a caramelized 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 and fluffy on the inside, and covered with a sweet honey brown sugar coating.
When tossing the sweet potatoes in the coating, be gentle to keep them from breaking apart. Once done, remove from the pan while they are still hot. The caramelized coating will crystalize as it cools and stick to the pan. The Goguma Mattang will be very hot, so take care if eating immediately. In Korea, ice water is sometimes served to dip each sweet potato piece in before taking a bite to help cool them down while still retaining that perfect texture.
If possible, try to use sweet potatoes with a purplish skin and pale flesh. They have a drier texture, are more dense, and have a bit more sweetness compared to the American version. I found them recently at Whole Foods labeled as Japanese sweet potatoes. I have also come across the sweet potatoes in Asian food markets specializing in Korean and Japanese ingredients.
For those that want to avoid deep-frying, Beyond Kimchee has a delicious Goguma Mattang variation without the use of oil. She coats the sweet potato in cinnamon sugar, then seasons them with orange zest, sesame seeds, and pecans.
Goguma Mattang (Korean Caramelized Sweet Potatoes) Recipe
Adapted from My Korean Kitchen
Goguma Mattang (Korean Caramelized Sweet Potatoes)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes Korean sweet potatoes if possible
- 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 thoroughly.
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 the center is softened, 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 bubble. Toss in the fried sweet potato pieces and continue to cook while gently tossing for 2 minutes.
Immediately remove from the pan and transfer to serving plates. Garnish with sesame seeds or chopped nuts.