Make Sweet Potatoes Even Sweeter

Goguma had been favored by the Koreans for centuries. After the war, the crop saved many lives from famine. Sweet potato is easy to grow and small amount can satisfy the most starved. Nowadays, Koreans enjoy goguma snacks in many form: deep-fried, roasted, steamed, baked in breads, topped on pizza, and much more.

Goguma matang brings me back to my childhood. Mother often pan-fried the sweet potato chunks and dressed them in sugar syrup. Like candied apples, the treat was especially popular around the fall when sweet potatoes are in season. In busy streets of Myeongdong, you can find vendors selling glazed sweet potatoes in a cup.


1 cup vegetable oil
5 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp maple syrup
toasted sesame seeds (optional)


1) Wash goguma under running water. Peel and cut in bite-size chunks.

2) Soak the sweet potato blocks in cold water for about 10 minutes.

3) Heat oil in pan. Dry the goguma with paper towel then add to the pan.

4) Fry the goguma until each side is golden brown and crispy. (5~15 minutes depend on size of each chunk)

5) Remove the goguma. Drain leftover oil with just 1 tbsp left on the pan.

6) Lower the heat and add the syrup. Stir in fried goguma and incorporate.

7) Top with toasted sesame seeds and serve.