Sweet potato rice

Goguma-bap 고구마밥

Hi everybody! I’m pleased to introduce you to another traditional Korean recipe today. It’s called goguma-bap. In Korean Goguma is sweet potato, and bap is cooked rice.

When I was in elementary school in Korea, I often watched my grandmother making this dish. She lived on an island, and when I visited her, I loved her goguma-bap. The main room where she slept was heated using the traditional Korean system called ondol, which heats the floor. The room was divided into 2 sections: the warm area and the cool area.

During the cold winter, my grandmother slept in the warm area, and the goguma were kept in the cool area. They were sleeping in the same room with my grandmother and they were always ready to be served any minute. : )

Goguma freezes easily so they should always should be kept in cool place. If they’re frozen, the texture is totally changed, just like a radish, and they aren’t tasty at all.

When I laid down to sleep next to my grandmother, I couldn’t help but stare at the pile of goguma, and when I woke up the next morning, the first thing I saw every day was goguma.

She used to prepare them in many different ways. Some of my favorites were:

  1. Sweet potato rice, served as a main dish.
  2. Sweet potato sticks for a snack: the sweet potatoes are simply peeled and split into several sticks. There was not much candy available on that island at the time, so goguma sticks was delicious enough for us.
  3. Dried sweet potato soup for lunch: my grandmother sliced and dried sweet potatoes for days until each piece got hard like a rock. She put them away in a sack for future use, and boil them in water for lunch. Sometimes she added red beans and sugar or some other kind of sweetener.
  4. Steamed and dried sweet potatoes for a snack:  sweet potatoes are cooked, sliced, and dried until they are rock hard. It was a delicious snack for us, and we treated it like candy. I’m not sure I would enjoy it these days though. I should make it and see if I still like it. : )

In this video I use the sweet potatoes with orange flesh because these are easier to find than Korean sweet potatoes, which have white flesh. Both are equally delicious.

Enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings):

  • 1 cup of short grain rice
  • 1 pound (453 grams) of sweet potato
  • Water

For seasoning sauce:


  1. Put 1 cup of short grain rice in a heavy bottomed pot or stone pot. Rinse in cold water and drain. Scrub the wet rice with your hand, and rinse and drain until the drained water runs clear. Drain the last of the water by tilting the pot as much as you can. The rice should still be wet. Add 1 cup of water and soak in the pot for 30 minutes with the lid closed.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and rinse in cold water. Cut them into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Add the sweet potato cubes over the rice in the pot.
  4. Bring it to a boil over medium heat and let it cook for about 15 minutes in a stone pot (or 10 minutes in the regular pot).
  5. Open the lid and turn over the rice and the sweet potato with a wooden spoon.
  6. Close the lid and let it simmer for another 15-20 minutes in a stone pot (or 10-15 minutes in a regular pot) until the sweet potato and rice are cooked fully.
  7. Open the lid and use a wooden spoon to turn over the rice and sweet potato so they mix well.
  8. Transfer some to serving bowls and serve with seasoning sauce.

For the seasoning sauce:

  1. Combine the soy sauce, chopped chives, garlic, honey, hot pepper flakes, vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds in a small bowl.



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