If your local Korean restaurant serves this crispy sweet potato glazed with caramelised sauce as one of the complimentary side dishes, I bet this would be the first one to disappear to one’s tummy. What do you reckon?
Its short name is Mattang (맛탕) and it is a particularly popular kid’s snack in Korea. When my mum made this dish as a side dish for dinner, I used to eat this only and I didn’t touch any rice or other side dishes, so I often got myself into a trouble. Were you that naughty as kids too?
Apparently, Mattang originated in China. They have a cooking method called 拔絲 (básī), which roughly describes the sugar caramelisation process. More specifically, the sugar is melted so well that it looks like a thread is coming out from the sugar syrup. Also based on the look and the number of threads coming out of the syrup, you can tell the cook’s expertise in cooking. I found this fact very interesting. Let me know, how you go with the thread! But I have to say, I was very glad that Koreans decided to adopt only the caramelisation method not the fancy look of the thread for the recipe!
The final word before introducing the recipe, in contrast to its fancy description – crispy sweet potato glazed with caramelised sauce (Goguma Mattang 고구마 맛탕) – it is very easy and simple to make, so you should try this for your dinner tonight!
Ingredients for 3-4 serves as a side dish
(Prep time: 35 mins incl. 30 mins soaking time, Cooking time: 10 to 15 mins)
- 2 Sweet potatoes (370g) – I used ‘Beauregard‘ variety, which is the most common sweet potato type in Australia. You can use other kinds that are suitable for deep-frying or roasting.
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying (enough to cover the sweet potatoes in a pot)
- Caramel sauce: Mix the below three ingredients in a pan at step 6. (This sauce could be enough for around 420g worth of sweet potatoes.)
- 3 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Yellow/brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Rice bran oil
1. Wash the sweet potatoes, peel the skin and cut them into small chunks. Soak them in cold water and let them soak for 30 mins to reduce the starch.
2. Drain the water and lightly wipe off the moisture with kitchen paper.
3. Put the sweet potatoes and enough vegetable oil into a pot.
4. Boil the pot on high heat until the sweet potato is golden and crisp (for 5 to 10 mins).
5. Take out the fried sweet potatoes and put them onto kitchen paper to soak the excess oil.
6. Put the caramel sauce in a pan and melt it on medium heat. Once the caramel sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium to low.
7. Add the sweet potatoes into the wok and mix with the sauce well (for 2-3 mins).
8. Serve the sweet potato on a plate. (Garnishing with nuts or sesame seed is optional.)
- The sweet potatoes will be very hot when you serve them on a plate, so cool it down for 10-20 mins before eating them. (Cooling down in a wok is not desirable as the sauce will crystallise, it can be difficult to dish out later). Also, alternatively, you can dip into icy cold water after step 8 and eat them straight away. (Apparently this method is becoming popular in Korea.)
- While it can be stored in the fridge for the next day, it tastes best when consumed on the day you make this dish as the crispness disappears and it can get slightly soggy.
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