Gamja jorim: What Is It, Where To Buy, and How To Eat?

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A common food choice around the world is potatoes. They can be made in countless ways and are generally a healthy choice.

In Korea, there are creative potato dishes you have to try. One of these dishes is gamja jorim, but what exactly is it?

Gamja jorim is a South Korean dish. Gamja jorim is the Korean word for braised potatoes. It’s typically used as a side dish, and it’s a great snack and filling lunch. Although this dish isn’t too popular outside of Korea, it’s a common side dish you’ll see at Korean restaurants.

The rest of this article will cover what gamja jorim is, how to eat it, and a brief conclusion.

What Gamja Jorim Is

Gamja jorim (감자조림) originates from South Korea and comes from the dish called jorim, which is a simmered meal made by boiling vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, or tofu in a seasoned broth. From there, the chef adds sauces that are typically based on soy sauce.

Gamja jorim is one of the many variants of jorim. There’s also tubu-jorim (simmered tofu), jang-jorim (simmered soy beef), kkaennip-jorim (simmered perilla leaves), and much more. It’s an umbrella term for the different types of ingredients you can use to make jorim.

The technique is to simmer the ingredients until the sauce is reduced. This method was used all throughout history, but the term didn’t get its official name until the 18th century. 

Back when culinary terms were getting their names, jorim was first called jochi (조치).

There are many different terms to refer to jorim depending on where you’re from and who you’re talking to. 

For example, in Korean royal court cuisine, you’ll hear jorim referred to as jorini (조리니), and you’ll see more ingredients are added to it to enhance the flavor.

The best part about gamja jorim is that you can eat it either hot or cold. It’s commonly served cold, but there’s no harm in having it hot as well. 

That depends on the temperature and your personal preference. On a cool day, try having it hot and eating it as a comfort food.

Where To Buy Gamja Jorim

Potatoes are a popular dish around the globe, which means that variations of gamja jorim are easily accessible.

In South Korea, you can find gamja jorim in restaurants for dine-in, take-out, or delivery services. It’s a great, filling side dish for whatever meal you want to have.

Also in Korea, you can get your hands on gamja jorim in snack bars. These snack bars sell smaller portions, like side dishes, to those looking for a quick treat. 

That’s why you can find potatoes there. The best part is that they’re sold at an affordable price.

You can find packaged gamja jorim at a Korean grocery store, but if you’re not in Korea, your options are limited. 

It’ll be difficult to find packaged gamja jorim in stores in another country. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Go to your local grocery store and ask the workers.

If those options don’t work, try a Korean restaurant. Korean restaurants will have gamja jorim as a side dish, so you can get it for dine-in, take-out, or delivery. 

With Asian cuisine impacting the globe more and more, a lot of Asian restaurants are selling their goods in packages too.

Although those options could all work, there’s one more you can try if they don’t appeal to you. You can pick up the ingredients you need for it, then make your own gamja jorim.

It’s a side dish, so keep in mind you’ll need more ingredients if you want to cook a larger portion.

How To Eat Gamja Jorim

As a side dish, which is called banchan or 반찬 in Korean, gamja jorim doesn’t seem like a meal you can eat in any unique ways. 

However, you can customize it to your personal preferences. Korean cuisine is known for being both healthy and versatile.

To begin, one option you have is eating gamja jorim with rice. In Korean culture, rice is important and eaten with most dishes. Even breakfast often comes with a bowl of rice. 

That’s why potatoes go well on a bed of warm or cold rice.

If rice doesn’t appeal to you, you can try messing around with the temperature. There’s benefits to eating gamja jorim hot, and benefits if you eat it cold. 

It’ll be more of comfort food if you eat it hot, and it’ll have a better texture if you eat it cold.

Lastly, you can change it up entirely by eating gamja jorim as a main course. 

It’s supposed to be used as a side dish, but since it’s so filling, if you were to make a large portion of it, not only will it be more shareable, but it’ll also work as a full meal.

Eating Gamja Jorim With Rice

Rice is cheap, accessible, and tasty. Potatoes are the same way, so combining them makes for an affordable and very filling meal. 

Try putting the gamja jorim over a bed of rice, or serve rice in a small bowl with it. That’ll replenish your energy and provide you with a tasty snack.

Eating Gamja Jorim Hot And Cold

In general, there are plenty of benefits to eating hot and cold food. It boils down to personal preference. Hot food tends to work better with your digestive system, but cold food can have better taste and texture.

Gamja jorim is most commonly served cold. If you were to serve it hot, it wouldn’t make too much of a difference other than the potatoes will be more cooked. 

Whether it’s fresh off the stove or reheated in the microwave, hot potatoes will work as comforting food.

As for cold, cooked potatoes, they’re a healthy snack you can have whenever you want. You see cold potatoes all the time in items like potato salad.

If you’re in a hurry, you can take gamja jorim out of the fridge, or buy it from a snack bar, and have a quick, delicious snack.

Eating Gamja Jorim As A Main Course

Potatoes are primarily starches, which are a type of carb. That means they bring energy to your body, and because of that, gamja jorim is a meal used as a side dish or snack.

 However, if you make a big enough portion, you can turn it into a main course.

Although not nearly as common, gamja jorim works as a dinner since it’s easy to make, cheap, and you can make it in massive portions with few ingredients. 

That’s why you should try it as a main course if you’re ever hungry enough.

Conclusion

Gamja jorim is a South Korean potato side dish. It’s typically served as a filling snack. 

It’s inexpensive, and it’s served in most Korean restaurants. Most commonly, it’s prepared cold, but you can eat it hot at certain places.

The term jorim is an umbrella word for simmering food like tofu, meat, and vegetables. 

Gamja jorim is a type of jorim that involves potatoes, and the usage of the word jorim dates back to the 18th century. You can get gamja jorim at restaurants, or you can cook it yourself.

You can eat gamja jorim in many ways. Rice compliments the dish well, whether you serve it with the gamja jorim or beneath it. 

It also works both hot and cold. Lastly, if you increase the portion size, it works well as a main course.

About The Author

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Jason Park

Jason has been living in Seoul over 4 years and during that time, he has experienced a lot of the city's quirks and charms. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others who are interested in learning more about South Korea.

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