Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

In my recent travels through Seoul, I rekindled my love with all the little side dishes, known as banchan, that accompany a meal. These sides often end up stealing the show from the main dish. Kimchi, spicy beansprouts, steamed eggplant, cucumber salad…the variety is dizzying. And it just so happens this is my favorite way to eat, little delicious bites of this and that.  Of the many banchan that are served, there are some that are pretty much standard-they show up at every restaurant, such as Gamja Bokkeum, potatoes stir fried til crisp and lightly seasoned.

I played around when I got home and these Korean Stir Fried Potatoes are the result. I think you’re going to love them. This simplified version features thinly sliced potatoes that are boiled until crisp-tender, then pan-fried to golden perfection. Here in the US, potatoes may have a crispy or crunchy shell but are typically creamy or mushy inside. But not these…they’re al dente? Garnished with toasted sesame seed, these crisp potato matchsticks are a delightful blend of textures and flavors.

Whether you just want a quick side dish or to make your own meal out of banchan, these Korean Stir Fried Potatoes deserve a place on your table-so let’s get into it.

the ingredients for the potatoes

I start by peeling and slicing the potatoes into thin rounds. You can leave the skins on if you prefer, especially if they are new potatoes with a delicate thin skin.

peeling and slicing potatoes

Then I stack the rounds and slice them into matchsticks. Try to make them as uniform as possible so they cook evenly.

matchstick potatoes

Then I briefly parboil them. This allows the potatoes to get a jump on the cooking process. I prefer a a quick parboil rather than try to stir fry raw potatoes in the pan, which I find can break too much of the potato. Boiling water cooks more evenly and gently. But it’s important not to cook the potatoes until they are soft. They should be just cooked, but still crisp. Once you drain them, they do continue to cook a tiny bit more from the residual heat.

Always start your potatoes in cold water. I think there’s an old adage about starting root vegetables in cold water and all others in hot. In any case, season your water so that the potatoes have flavor all the way through. And like fat, potatoes love a little extra salt.

koren stir fried potatoes in pot of water

korean potatoes parboiled and drained

While they drain, I heat the pan and cook the onions. Get the onions a little browned to add extra color and flavor to your potatoes.

cooking onions for korean stir fried potatoes

garlic and potatoes added to pan


adding sesame oil and scallions

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

I like to add toasted sesame seeds and then these are ready to serve.

recipe crispy matchstick potatoes

You could serve these as a side for my Spiced Spare Ribs or Coconut Shrimp. Or steam some rice and make a meatless banchan meal with these Korean Stir Fried Potatoes, Lemon Zucchini, Radish Kimchi, and Sesame Green Beans.  Let me know how you serve it, and of course tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!



clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
recipe crispy matchstick potatoes

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3-4 1x
  • Category: small plates, sides
  • Cuisine: Korean


  • ½ pound boiling potatoes (Yukon Gold, Bliss, Etc)
  • ¼ large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 Tablespoon neutral oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • Salt and ground black/white pepper to taste
  • 1 scallion trimmed and minced
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds


  1. Wash and peel the potatoes (you can also leave the skin on if you prefer). Cut the potatoes into thin ¼ inch slices and then stack the slices and slice through them creating matchsticks. Place the potatoes in a medium pot with 6 cups of water and 1 ½ Tablespoons of salt (sounds like a lot but it mostly gets drained off).
  2. Bring the potatoes to a simmer over high heat and then cook the potatoes for 1-2 mins until just cooked but still very firm. 
  3. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  4. Heat a medium skillet over medium high for several minutes and then add the neutral oil and onions. Stir fry for 5 mins until the onions are translucent and starting to brown. Add the minced garlic and stir.
  5. Add the potatoes and sesame oil, stirring gently to combine. Add the scallions and stir for a minute to wilt the scallions.
  6.  Taste and season with ground pepper and salt to taste. 
  7. Transfer to a plate and garnish with the sesame seeds. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold.

Keywords: banchan, potatoes, Gamja Bokkeum, korean, side dishes, veggies,

Related Posts

Thai Fried Fish Cakes

Thai Fried Fish Cakes

TCrispy, round, flavorful, fried snacks frequently eaten at festive gatherings….think of these little fish cakes as Thai latkes. Thai fried fish cakes are everywhere in Thailand, sold from street vendors and market stalls all over the coasts. Furthermore, fish cakes and fish balls are consumed […]

Korean Meatloaf

Korean Meatloaf

KIt’s hard to believe, but back to school is right around the corner. Which means back to trying to wrangle everyone to the table in between homework and extracurricular activities. One thing that always rounds them up is my Korean Meatloaf. This is not your […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.