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Korean Candied Sweet Potatoes (Goguma Mattang)

Try this popular Korean sweet potato recipe – Candied sweet potatoes (Goguma Mattang)! 

Goguma Mattang (고구마 맛탕) is one of our family’s favorite Korean side dishes and snacks.

Deep fried chunky sweet potatoes are coated with caramelized sugar. It’s a crunchy outside and soft and fluffy inside kind of dish. Continue reading if you would love to make this!

Korean Candied Sweet Potatoes (Goguma Mattang) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Apparently, Mattang originated in China. They have a cooking method called 拔絲 (básī), which roughly describes the sugar caramelization 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 fascinating! Let me know how you go with the thread. I didn’t make much of it. LOL.

And, I have to say that I’m very glad that Koreans decided to adopt only the caramelisation technique but not the fancy look of the thread! 😉

Korean candied sweet potatoes are very easy and simple to make, so you should try this for your dinner tonight! Enjoy!

Korean Caramelized Sweet Potatoes | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Ingredients for Candied Sweet Potatoes (Serves 4)

(Prep time: 35 mins incl. 30 mins soaking time, Cooking time: 10 to 15 mins)

  • 500g / 1.1 pounds sweet potato, you can use any sweet potatoes that are suitable for deep-frying or roasting (e.g. beauregard‘ variety). FYI, I used Korean sweet potatoes.
  • Cooking oil for deep-frying (enough to cover the sweet potatoes in a pot)
  • Caramel sauce:
    • 3 Tbsp (raw) sugar
    • 1 Tbsp cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • (Optional) crushed nuts or roasted sesame seeds – to garnish

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml

How to Make Candied Sweet Potatoes

1. Wash the sweet potato, peel the skin and cut it into small chunks (not too thick as it will take longer to cook through). Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes to reduce the starch.

Korean Sweet Potatoes Soaked in Water

2. Drain away the water and thoroughly wipe off the water from the sweet potatoes with kitchen paper.

Drying Korean Sweet Potatoes

3. Pour the deep frying oil into a large pot and heat it up until it reaches 180 C / 356 F (or boiling). Add the sweet potatoes and cook them until cooked through (about 5 to 8 minutes).

Deep Frying Sweet Potatoes

4. Take out the fried sweet potatoes and place them onto some kitchen paper to soak away the excess oil.

Resting Deep Fried Sweet Potatoes on Kitchen Paper

5. Add the cooking oil in a well heated pan and scatter the sugar around. Melt it over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves then quickly reduce the heat to low. Add the sweet potatoes into the pan and mix well with the sauce (for 1 to 2 minutes).

Melting Sugar in a Pan

Sugar Coated Korean Sweet Potatoes

6. Move the sweet potatoes onto non stick baking paper to cool down for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve. (You can garnish with some crushed nuts or sesame seeds for extra savory taste.)

Candied Sweet Potatoes on a Baking Paper

Note

  • My favourite way of eating this candied sweet potato is making it soft inside and crunchy outside. The crunchiness comes from the sugar coating (from step 5) but it usually doesn’t last long as the sugar coating runs down as time goes by. So try to consume it with 30 minutes of making it.
  • Some Koreans use corn syrup or honey instead of sugar. You can use these instead too. If you’re using these instead, sweet potatoes won’t be crunchy but moist and soft.


Korean Caramelized Sweet Potatoes | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Candied Sweet Potatoes (Goguma Mattang)

How to make Korean style candied sweet potatoes (Goguma Mattang). Deep fried chunky sweet potatoes are coated with caramelized sugar. It's crunchy, soft, and fluffy all at the same time. A great kids snack and side dish!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side dishes
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: sweet potatoes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 500 g sweet potato (1.1 pounds), you can use any sweet potatoes that are suitable for deep-frying or roasting (e.g. beauregard‘ variety). FYI, I used Korean sweet potatoes.
  • Some cooking oil for deep-frying, enough to cover the sweet potatoes in a pot
  • Some crushed nuts or roasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Caramel sauce

  • 3 Tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil , I used rice bran oil

Instructions

  • Wash the sweet potato, peel the skin and cut it into small chunks (not too thick as it will take longer to cook through). Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes to reduce the starch.
  • Drain away the water and thoroughly wipe off the water from the sweet potatoes with kitchen paper.
  • Pour the deep frying oil into a large pot and heat it up until it reaches 180 C / 356 F (or boiling). Add the sweet potatoes and cook them until cooked through (about 5 to 8 minutes).
  • Take out the fried sweet potatoes and place them onto some kitchen paper to soak away the excess oil.
  • Add the cooking oil in a well heated pan and scatter the sugar around. Melt it over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves then quickly reduce the heat to low. Add the sweet potatoes into the pan and mix well with the sauce (for 1 to 2 minutes).
  • Move the sweet potatoes onto non stick baking paper to cool down for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve. (You can garnish with some crushed nuts or sesame seeds for extra savory taste.)

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 17735IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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37 thoughts on “Korean Candied Sweet Potatoes (Goguma Mattang)”

    • I do not know how it will go in an air fryer. (Never tried it.) To some extent, I would think it will work. It may just give you a different texture. Let us know how it goes. 🙂

  1. thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m currently making this as I type. I have eaten in several Korean restaurants near where I live in Missouri but only a few serves caramelized sweet potato. Mother’s Day this year, 2019, my husband took me to Cafe Korea in St Roberts and I was so happy to see the sweet potato served as an appetizer. I told my husband I’m going to do this dish!!! thanks again 🙂

  2. This looks amazing! I haven’t been able to enjoy my favorite caramel popcorn for awhile since discovering my corn allergy, and this would definitely have that awesome fluffy potato fry texture, so this has got to be even better than caramel popcorn! I’m so excited to try this.

  3. i made it this morning! it was very successfull,…. as its very easy to make. i like the crunchiness also but i will not be having this too often as i felt bad while eating it lol my parents were grumbling cuz they said goguma is already sweet why am i adding sugar but they still ate it.!!! my only issue, how do you store it and reheat it? i just put the remaining in the freezer so that the crunchiness doesn’t disappear but how would i reheat it? through refrying? microwave or baking?

    • I keep my leftover in the fridge and eat it cold or reheat it in microwave. (But mostly eat it cold.) The texture is nothing like when you fry it the first time. (It still tastes good though!) I don’t know whether freezing will keep the crispiness.

  4. Do you think this would also work if i roast the potatoes? I’m not really a fan of deep frying things. 🙂 Even if it’s not as crispy, would it be similar? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Sabrina, I haven’t tried roasting method for this recipe, so I can’t give you a solid advice. However, I think the most important step to achieve crispness is the last step – coating with the sugar. So it might work just as well. Let me know how you go! 🙂

      • I tried it and it turned out really well! I think to improve I would do the sugar coating right after the roasting finished. But it was still good! My daughter loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

    • I did say this dish is originated from China in the post above. There are handful of other Chinese dishes that are now Koreanised in Korea. To me, they are Korean or at least Korean fusion dish. 🙂

  5. Wow.. Thanks for your recipe. I love this food when I tried it on Korean restaurant and I’ve been looking the recipe but couldn’t find it. Will try it tomorrow. Thanks a lot!!

  6. I had tried these side dish 2 days ago with my wife wheb we had our valentines day lunch at a Korean restaurant it was really good. Now my wife ask to make it so our kids ciuld try it as well.

    On our lunch date we had spicy stir fried pork, kimchi pancake, Korean style fried chicken and a lot of Banchan ( side dishes) and we both love the food. After eating lunch we went to Korean grocery shop to buy Korean ingredients to make Korean dishes for a week.

    • That’s a big lunch! I hope you are able to recreate those delicious dishes your tried using my recipes. I have recipes for most dishes you mentioned, except for Korean fried chicken. This will be added sometime this year. 🙂

      • Hi Sue,

        Yes i recreate some of it today. I made kimchi pancake, spicy stir fried pork, crispy sweet potato in caramel sauce, spicy stir fried rice cake i just followed your recipe, but the rest of the side dishes and the fried chicken i did not have time to do it, i ran out of time. But i’m happy because everyone loves it. Can’t wait for you to post the fried chicken. If i can only send you the photos i have taken during our lunch it would be great so you can post them with the recipes.

        The spicy stir fry rice cake, kimchi pancake, and the sweet potato glass noodles were the ones are the number one hit in our house. I will try all your recipes and will keep posting to let you know how they been rated. Thanks again and never get tired posting Korean dishes.

    • Hi Shelly, yes, I put the sweet potatoes in cold oil and boil them all together. Alternatively, you can wait until the boiling point of the oil reaches 180C (356F). Frankly I didn’t notice the difference between these two methods. 🙂

  7. Thinking about making this, but was wondering if I could substitute maple syrup for the honey to make it vegan. Any thoughts on how successful it would be?

    • I’ve never used maple syrup for this recipe so I don’t know how it will turn out but I think it should be OK. I didn’t know that honey is not acceptable for vegan diet. Anyway, hope it turns out well. 🙂

  8. I visited a Chinese buffet restaurant who had a similar dish but used white potatoes, and was steamed with cabbage then coated with the caramelized sauce. I will try it and also add the cabbage :}

    • Yes, it is OK to keep it overnight. You just need to keep it in the fridge. Though, it might be less crispy than the freshly cooked one as the caramelised sauce melts away with time.

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