Candied Korean Sweet Potato – Goguma Mattang (고구마 맛탕)


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Candied Korean Sweet Potato or Goguma Mattang (고구마 맛탕) is a Korean sweet potato dish enjoyed as a snack or dessert. As a child, I remember going out to eat jjajjangmyeon with my family and looking forward to the candied sweet potato at the end of the meal!

Korean Candied Sweet Potato (Goguma Mattang)

It’s deep fried korean yam or sweet potato, coated in a crunchy caramel layer with black sesame seeds on top. To eat, you dip your goguma mattang into a bowl of ice water to make the potato extra crunchy and enjoy family style with toothpicks! This version of goguma mattang is lightened up, a little easier to make at home and really simple too.

Korean Candied Sweet Potato (Goguma Mattang)

How to Cook Korean Sweet Potato

To make this Korean sweet potato recipe you’ll need only 4 ingredients, and you probably have most of them at home already! You simply dice your potato, bake and then create a stovetop caramel. Coat your potato, let chill and then enjoy. You will need:

  • Korean yam or sweet potato, also known as Japanese sweet potato.
  • Granulated sugar of choice. I recommend organic cane sugar, as it’s easier to tell when your sugar is caramelizing, but you can also experiment with coconut sugar for a refined sugar free alternative.
  • Neutral oil for baking potato and creating your caramel.
  • Black sesame seeds to garnish

Salt is always a nice addition to any dessert for balance!

Korean Candied Sweet Potato (Goguma Mattang)

Baked vs. Fried Korean Sweet Potato

To make this goguma mattang, we will be using baked Korean sweet potato instead of deep frying. I personally find this method better for texture and it is much simpler to make at home! Deep frying can be a little intimidating at home, and if you prefer a fluffy texture, I promise you’ll love it.

You can also experiment with air frying your sweet potato cubes, and of course if you’re comfortable deep frying at home, do it!

Korean Candied Sweet Potato (Goguma Mattang)

Japanese vs. Korean Candied Sweet Potato

There is a Japanese candied sweet potato dish (called daigaku imo) which is similar but slightly different. The Japanese version is usually made with honey and some soy sauce for a sweet and savoury flavour profile. The coating is also more syrup-like compared to the Korean sweet potato dish, whereas the Korean sweet potato is a true candy-like coating.

How to Serve

This dish is usually served alongside a bowl of ice cubes and water. It helps to firm up the caramel coating and gives you the best crunch! Sometimes the coating may start to soften if the dish is sitting out, so simply grab a piece of sweet potato, dunk it into the ice water for a few seconds and then eat.

More Korean Recipes to Try

Korean Candied Sweet Potato (Goguma Mattang)

5 from 1 vote
Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Candied Korean sweet potato is an easy 4-ingredient side dish that's baked, not fried, for a lighter and healthier gluten-free vegan take.


  • 1 large Korean/Japanese sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • black sesame seeds
  • optional
  • flaky salt
  • ice cubes + water for serving


  • Preheat oven to 400F while you prepare your potatoes.
  • Keeping the skin on, dice your potato and toss with 1 tbsp of neutral oil in a bowl until nicely coated. Add a sprinkle of salt if desired. Transfer potatoes onto a lined baking mat and bake for 20-25 minutes. Pierce with a fork to check it is cooked through. Edges should be lightly golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  • In a saucepan over low heat, add 1 tbsp of oil and sugar to the pan. Let the sugar melt (don't touch it) and as it starts to brown, begin to shake and swirl the pan until lightly golden. Turn the heat off.
  • Add baked korean sweet potato chunks into the pan and toss to coat completely. Transfer to a linked baking sheet, draining off any excess oil and separating chunks while warm. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and flaky salt before cooling.
  • To enjoy, dip into a bowl of water and ice to firm up and crunch away!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Remy

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow, simple recipe, few ingredients. Easy to prepare. But then you taste it and you taste buds just explode with joy. That hint of salt flakes is just superb. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us

    5 stars