Korean sweet potato recipes


Cover image Korean sweet potato
Image adapted from (clockwise from top-right): @sodamgb, @shinjjang_g1, @hynice3113, and @i_lovejun

Korean sweet potato, also known as goguma, is a staple in the Korean diet. The natural sweetness of it makes it a highly versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. 

While the simplest way to prepare Korean sweet potato is to steam it, you’ll be surprised by how the Koreans have made use of this cheap and nutritious ingredient. Be it desserts, snacks, mains, or even alcohol, nothing is too crazy when it comes to goguma. So the next time you’re craving for Korean sweet potato, skip the steaming and have a go at these 10 unique Korean sweet potato recipes instead. 


1. Candied sweet potatoes (mattang)


Candied sweet potatoImage credit: @i_lovejun

Sweet potatoes are the main ingredients in a Korean side dish called mattang. It consists of deep-fried sweet potato chunks combined with a thick caramelised sauce made with two simple ingredients – sugar and oil. 

Besides pairing these candied sweet potatoes with main courses, Koreans also like to have them as a snack. 

Ingredients (for sweet potatoes):

  • 500g of sweet potatoes
  • Cooking oil 
  • Sesame seeds (Optional)

Ingredients (for caramelised sauce):

  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil 

Steps (for sweet potatoes): 

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes before peeling them. Cut it into small chunks about 2 inches thick and soak it in water for about 30 minutes. This gets rid of excess starch content. 
  2. Drain the water and pat the sweet potatoes dry with a kitchen towel. 
  3. Once the oil is heated up over medium heat till about 180°C, deep fry the sweet potatoes until golden brown. It should take around 5 to 7 minutes. 
  4. Place the potatoes on a kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.

Steps (for caramelised sauce):

  1. Over medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp of cooking oil and sprinkle 3 tbsp of sugar into the pan. 
  2. Continue stirring until the sugar is entirely dissolved. 
  3. Turn the heat down to low and add in the deep-fried sweet potato chunks. Give it a good stir so that all the chunks are evenly coated with the caramelised sauce. 
  4. Add a dash of sesame seeds. (Optional)
Jeon Jungkook Invented The Art of Cooking
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Jeon Jungkook Invented The Art of Cooking

 


2. Sweet potato bread


Sweet potato breadImage credit: @danchuu_cake

There’s a current cafe food trend in Korea where bakers create bread shaped like Korean sweet potatoes. These soft and fluffy bread don’t just look like the real deal – they also taste like it, thanks to the generous amount of sweet potato filling inside.

Sweet potato breadImage credit: @sodamgb

You might have reservations about this carb-on-carb confection, but it’s not as heavy as you’d think. The dough encasing the filling is actually very thin and has a light and fluffy texture. 

Ingredients (for dough): 

  • 175g of tapioca starch 
  • 35g of glutinous rice flour 
  • 30g of bread flour 
  • 2g of salt 
  • 70g of milk 
  • 10g of corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 10g of vegetable oil
  • 50g of unsalted butter 
  • Sweet potato powder

Ingredients (for sweet potato filling):

  • 400g of sweet potatoes
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 40g of melted unsalted butter 
  • 2 tbsp of honey

 Steps (for sweet potato filling):

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes until it’s cooked through. Remove the skin, then mash it through a thick sieve. 
  2. Add a pinch of salt, melted butter and honey to the mashed potatoes, and mix well. 
  3. Divide the mashed potatoes into 50g portions. 

Steps (for dough):

  1. Add tapioca starch, glutinous rice flour, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix well to ensure all ingredients are evenly combined. 
  2. Pour milk and corn syrup into the mixture and mix well using a spatula.
  3. Crack an egg into the bowl and combine the ingredients together with a spatula. 
  4. Add oil and butter in. Using your hand, knead the ingredients together into a sticky consistency. 
  5. Add the bread flour and knead until you achieve a dough of firmer consistency. 
  6. Place the dough into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into equal pieces that weigh 60g each.
  8. Flatten the dough and place a portion of mashed sweet potato in the centre before sealing the ends together. 
  9. Shape the dough and cover it with sweet potato powder before laying it on the baking tray. 
  10. Use a chopstick to make indents on the bread to recreate the rough exterior of a sweet potato. 
  11. Preheat the oven to 160°C and bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes. 
[SUB] 🍠진짜 고구마같은 '페이크 고구마빵' 만들기~*🥖(Fake Sweet Potato Bread) /REAL SOUND : 초의 데일리쿡
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[SUB] 🍠진짜 고구마같은 '페이크 고구마빵' 만들기~*🥖(Fake Sweet Potato Bread) /REAL SOUND : 초의 데일리쿡

 


3. Sweet potato cheese stick


Sweet potato cheese sticksImage credit: @naraleeee

Sweet potatoes can be quite filling on its own. When you’re craving for a small snack, reach for these sweet potato cheese sticks instead. It’s good for those who are craving sweet potatoes, but don’t have the stomach space to finish the entire thing.  

Plus, these cheese sticks make for good finger food to pair with either a fizzy soda or can of beer. 

Ingredients:

  • 350g of sweet potatoes 
  • 1 tbsp of salted butter
  • 1½ tbsp of whipping cream (alternative: milk)
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • ⅛ tsp of salt 
  • 6 mozzarella sticks 
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking oil

Steps: 

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes until it’s cooked through. 
  2. Remove the skin, mash it up with a fork or masher, and add whipping cream, butter, sugar, and salt. Mix all ingredients together. 
  3. Cut the mozzarella sticks into half. 
  4. Spread a generous amount of flour onto the countertop, scoop a dollop of sweet potato paste, and flatten it with your hands. 
  5. Place the cheese stick in the middle of the flattened sweet potato paste and seal it up without any gaps. 
  6. Coat the sweet potato cheese stick in this sequence: flour, whisked eggs, and bread crumbs. 
  7. Repeat step 5 and 6 for the remaining cheese sticks. 
  8. Heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat and deep fry the cheese sticks until golden brown. 
Korean Sweet Potato Cheese Sticks (고구마 치즈스틱) | Aeri's Kitchen
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Korean Sweet Potato Cheese Sticks (고구마 치즈스틱) | Aeri's Kitchen

 


4. Sweet potato mousse stuffed crust pizza


Sweet potato pizza Image credit: @shinjjang_g1

We’re used to seeing cheese-stuffed crusts in pizzas, but ones with sweet potato mousse stuffing are a bit unusual. That being said, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. This sweet-and-savoury combination is well-received by locals and many Korean pizza joints have made it a staple item on their menus. 

Sweet potato pizzaImage credit: @zzanguk73

For thin crust lovers, use the mousse as one of your toppings instead. And if making your own pizza dough from scratch is too much of a hassle, simply get frozen ones or use pita bread, wraps, or even waffles as the base.

Sweet potato pizzaImage credit: @zzanguk73

The best part about making pizza at home is that you have the freedom to top it off with anything you like. Go full on meat galore or load it with different kinds of vegetables and mushrooms for a healthier option. 

Ingredients (for pizza crust):

  • 2½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of instant yeast
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • ½ tsp of salt 
  • 1 cup of warm water 
  • 2 tbsp of oil 

Ingredients (for sweet potato mousse stuffing): 

  • 550g of sweet potatoes 
  • ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp of sugar 

Steps (for sweet potato mousse stuffing):

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes until it’s cooked through. Peel and mash it up with a fork or masher. 
  2. Add sugar to the potatoes and combine both ingredients together. 
  3. Pour in heavy whipping cream and fold the mixture until it’s well-combined. 
  4. Use a hand mixer and whisk the mixture until you get a smooth consistency. 
  5. Empty the mixture into a piping bag. 

Steps (for pizza dough):

  1. Add flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt into a large bowl and make sure it’s well combined. 
  2. Pour in the oil and warm water into this mixture. Using a spatula, mix until the dough comes together. 
  3. Place the dough onto a floured countertop and knead with your hands until you get a smooth dough. 
  4. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a plastic wrap, and let it rise for an hour. 
  5. Take it out from the bowl and flatten it on the baking pan. Punch holes into the base of the pizza with a fork. 
  6. Pipe the sweet potato mixture along the border of the dough, about 1.5 to 2 inches away from the edge. Seal the crust over the sweet potato mixture. 
  7. Place ingredients you like onto the pizza and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 230°C. 

5. Sweet potato pancake


Sweet potato pancakeImage adapted from: OME Cooking Lab

Korean pancakes (jeon) are popular side dishes at restaurants. It’s also sold as a snack at street food stalls. While you’d usually find jeon in kimchi and seafood flavours at such places, Korean pancakes can be made with almost any ingredient you can think of, including Korean sweet potato. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 egg 
  • Black sesame seeds 
  • Honey (optional dipping sauce)

Steps:

  1. Cut the sweet potato into thin slices about 0.5cm thick. 
  2. Put the thinly sliced sweet potatoes into a ziplock back along with the flour. Shake the bag to ensure that every slice is coated with a thin layer of flour.
  3. Whisk the egg. 
  4. Heat up some oil in a pan over medium heat. Coat each slice of sweet potato with a thin layer of egg before pan-frying till golden brown on both sides.
  5. Garnish with some black sesame seeds. 
[ENG CC] 고구마전 : Goguma jeon _ sweet potato pancake (Korean pancake challenge)
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[ENG CC] 고구마전 : Goguma jeon _ sweet potato pancake (Korean pancake challenge)

 


6. Sweet potato rice (gogumabap)


Sweet potato rice
Image credit: @heejung___

Most Asian families are used to having white rice with every meal, but it’s not particularly nutritious. To boost your diet, add Korean sweet potato for extra vitamins, minerals, fibre and healthy fatty acids. It doesn’t require a lot of effort – all you need to do is wash, peel, and cut the potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of short-grain rice
  • 450g of sweet potatoes
  • Water

Steps:

  1. Wash the potatoes, then peel and chop it into small cubes. The size is up to your preference. 
  2. Cook the rice as you normally would, but place the sweet potatoes on top of uncooked rice before turning your rice cooker on. 

7. Sweet potato sticky rice cake


Sweet potato sticky rice cakeImage adapted from: 달방앗간 dalbangatgan

Don’t mistake this for Japanese mochi or Chinese muah chee. This is actually a traditional Korean sweet dessert called chapssalteok

While it usually comes with a red bean paste filling in the centre, this recipe replaces it with a sweet potato filling. 

Ingredients (for rice cake):

  • 300g of glutinous rice flour
  • 20g of water
  • 40g of sugar
  • 3g purple sweet potato powder
  • Coconut powder (Optional)

Ingredients (for sweet potato filling):

  • 300g of sweet potatoes
  • 20g honey

Steps (for sweet potato filling):

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes until it’s cooked through. 
  2. Once cooled, peel and mash the sweet potatoes up with a fork or masher. 
  3. Add in 20g of honey and combine well. 
  4. Divide the filling up into 30g portions and shape it into a ball. 

Steps (for rice cake): 

  1. Sieve the rice flour into a large mixing bowl and add 20g of water. Rub the flour between both of your palms.
  2. Place a wet cloth onto a steamer and scatter 20g of sugar onto it. 
  3. Add the rice flour you’ve prepared earlier, as well as 20g of water. 
  4. Cover the steamer with a lid and steam the mixture over high heat for approximately 20 minutes or until it looks transparent. 
  5. Grease your hands and a bowl with oil before you remove the mixture from the steamer. 
  6. Add 20g of sugar to the steamed dough.
  7. While it’s still hot – but not scalding hot – knead the sugar granules into the rice cake dough. 
  8. Add 3g of sweet potato powder and knead until the entire rice cake dough is evenly coloured. 
  9. Divide it into 10 equal pieces. 
  10. Flatten the rice cake portion with your palms and add the sweet potato filling in the middle before sealing the edges. Roll the rice cake into a round shape. 
  11. Coat the rice cake balls with coconut powder. (Optional)

8. Sweet potato milk


Sweet potato milkImage credit: @7elevenkorea

Thanks to K-dramas and K-Pop idols, we’re more than familiar with Binggrae banana milk. This popular beverage, packaged in a distinctive container, can be easily found in Asian supermarkets worldwide.

There’s also sweet potato version of the iconic drink. Unfortunately, it’s not as readily available outside of Korea, and that’s where this recipe comes in handy. 

Recreating this drink is easy and all you need are three simple ingredients: sweet potatoes, milk, and honey. The best part is that you can customise it according to your dietary restrictions. You can substitute regular milk with plant-based milk, such as almond and oat milk, if necessary. 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ to 1 cup of sweet potatoes 
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp of honey 

Steps:

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes until fully cooked. 
  2. Peel off the skin and cut into small cubes. 
  3. Add the sweet potatoes cubes, milk, and honey into a blender and blend until smooth. 

9. Sweet potato latte


Sweet potato latte Image credit: @coffeeholic_100

Strawberry and blueberry lattes have been around for quite a while. For something new and refreshing, try a glass of sweet potato latte, which can also be easily made at home.  

The walnuts in this recipe add a crunch to the mix, complementing the smooth texture of the sweet potato puree. The sweet potato acts as a natural sweetener to the drink, so you may not even need to add honey.

You can substitute regular milk with plant-based alternatives too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ of a sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp of honey 
  • 1 tbsp of walnuts 

Steps:

  1. Steam the sweet potato until it is entirely cooked. 
  2. Peel the skin and chop the potatoes into small pieces. 
  3. Heat up the milk in a microwave until it’s hot. 
  4. Crush the walnuts into small pieces.
  5. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

10. Sweet potato makgeolli


Sweet potato makgeolli
Image credit: @nono_hi

Makgeolli is a traditional Korean rice wine made from fermented rice and wheat. Besides the regular version, you can also find flavours such as banana, peach, and even sweet potato.

Sweet potato makgeolliImage credit: @hynice3113

Contrary to popular belief, makgeolli is actually easy to make at home. The only challenging part is that it requires a lot of patience as you have to wait for the entire fermentation process to be completed. 

So if you’ve always aspired to become a homebrewer, give this recipe a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1.2kg of sweet potatoes
  • 210g of nuruk (Korean fermentation starter/powdered enzyme amylase)
  • ¾ tsp of wine yeast
  • 1L of water 
  • 2kg of sweet rice 
  • 10L jar 

Steps:

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes until it’s fully cooked. 
  2. Peel the skin off, then mash it up with a fork or masher in a large bowl. Add 500ml of water and mix well. Set it aside and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Once cooled, add the sweet potatoes into a 10L jar.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine 210g of nuruk, ¾ tsp of wine yeast, and 500g of water and stir well.   
  5. Add this mixture to the jar and thoroughly mix it with the sweet potatoes. 
  6. Place the lid onto the jar loosely. Leave the jar in a dark place to ferment. 
  7. Check and stir twice a day for the first two days.
  8. On day 2, you’re going to prepare the rice. Wash and soak it for 3 hours. Drain the rice and let it rest for 30 minutes. 
  9. Steam the rice till it’s cooked. 
  10. Spread the cooked rice out to cool till room temperature. 
  11. Once it is done, add the rice into the fermentation jar and mix well, making sure that the rice grains don’t clump together.
  12. Cover with the lid again and place it back into a dark place. 
  13. Check on it daily without touching the mixture. The makgeolli will be ready once you notice that the volume of liquid collected daily slows down significantly or stops. It’ll take anywhere between 15 to 20 days. 
  14. Once ready, empty the jar and strain the contents through a large cloth strainer. Squeeze until all the liquid is collected. 
[ENG CC] 고구마전 : Goguma jeon _ sweet potato pancake (Korean pancake challenge)
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[ENG CC] 고구마전 : Goguma jeon _ sweet potato pancake (Korean pancake challenge)

 


Unique Korean sweet potato recipes to try


Sweet potatoes come with lots of health benefits. It’s packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Korean sweet potatoes are also said to help boost your immune system and even reduce anxiety. Don’t just eat it plain – try one of these unique recipes so you can treat your taste buds while boosting your health.

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