Candied sweet potato

Mattang 맛탕

Mattang is a delicious, easy to make sweet that’s chunks of sweet potato coated in translucent hot brown syrup. They are super crunchy on the outside and warm and fluffy on the inside.

It’s so simple and easy to make but freshly made mattang is really irresistible, with an amazing, loud crispy crunch but then so soft inside! When I was a kid me and my friends used to eat these all the time. After school we would stop by a snack bar and order mattang, tteokbokki, and fish cake soup. These three things went perfectly together because the tteokbokki was spicy so the fish cake soup was a nice counterbalance, and then the mattang was something sweet to top it all off. We would order these three things and keep cycling through bites of each until they were all gone and it was time to go home. We’d all pay an equal amount and then go home and have dinner! We always had room for delicious food!

I’ve been making this recipe for years and years. After I got married I made it for my own children, they just loved it. I originally posted a video for it in 2010, and it was time for a remake. I rewrote and tweaked the recipe and don’t worry, the original video from any of my remade recipes is always in the sidebar. All my videos are like my babies, never far from me!

Enjoy the recipe! I hope you make it for your friends and family for years to come!


Serves 3 to 4

  • 1 pound peeled and washed Korean sweet potato, roll cut into ½ to 1 inch thick pieces
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • cooking oil (vegetable, grape seeds, or corn oil) for making syrup and frying
  • 1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds (optional)mattang-sweet-potato-cut


First fry for the sweet potato:

  1. Heat 1½ inch cooking oil in a large pan over medium high heat until the temperature reaches about 340ºF. (I used 6 cups cooking oil in my 12 inch pan and heated it up for 12 minutes over medium-high)
  2. Gently add the sweet potato pieces to the hot oil. Fry them for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden or slotted spoon, until light golden brown.
  3. Use tongs or slotted spoon to take out the sweet potato pieces and put them into a stainless steel strainer over a bowl so they can drain. Turn off the heat and let them sit until the syrup is ready.potato first fry

Make syrup:

  1. Add about 2 tablespoons cooking oil to a skillet. Swirl it around to evenly coat.
  2. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the oil.sugar for syrup
  3. Heat up the skillet over medium heat. When the sugar starts melting after about 5 minutes, reduce the heat to medium low.
  4. Grab the handle of the skillet, lift it up and move it around so the sugar evenly melts in the oil. Don’t stir it, or it will crystalize. Keep moving and shifting the pan for another 2 to 3 minutes until all the sugar melts into to brownish syrup. Turn off the heat.melting sugar for mattangmattang syrup

2nd fry for the sweet potato:

  1. Reheat the oil for about 2 to 3 minutes until it reaches 340ºF. Add the fried sweet potato pieces and fry them for 1 to 2 minutes until crunchy and golden brown.mattang
  2. Use tongs or slotted spoon to take out the sweet potato pieces and put them into a stainless steel strainer over a bowl so they can drain. Turn off the heat.Second fry

Finish and serve:

  1. Reheat the syrup. Add the sweet potato and mix with a wooden spoon until they are totally covered in the syrup. Sprinkle the black sesame seeds over top. coating the mattang in syrup
  2. Remove from the heat and transfer the sweet potato to a large baking sheet lined with a parchment paper.mattang cooling
  3. Leave a gap between each piece so that they don’t stick together. Let them cool down.separating mattang
  4. When the syrup hardens, transfer the mattang to a serving bowl and serve.

Goguma mattang

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  1. kkat9011 Alabama joined 10/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    I found this website over the summer, and I’ve had fun trying out the different recipes. I just made the matang (the last couple are cooling off now), and I just want to say that they’re delicious! They don’t look quite as good as yours (and I couldn’t use Korean sweet potato because shopping here is horrible), but even with a “normal” sweet potato I fell in love. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. LoveHateVip TN joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi :)

    Will the Matang still taste good when its cold?

  3. A.Lee Atlanta, GA joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Ah…. mine didn’t turn out that beautifully… I think I used too small of a pan for the syrup. It tastes pretty good, though. Also, the timing is pretty hard to nail but I’m pretty excited about making it again. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  4. muffinslover Australia joined 5/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    What a coincidence! Weeks ago I went to eat at this Korean buffet restaurant in Sydney and they did serve matang:) all my friends who came with me to the buffet like them and I’ve been thinking to make them but don’t have the recipe. Thank God you have this recipe.
    You are the best! I will try to make them then.
    I indeed love korean food eventhough I am not a korean.
    Thank you!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      Great! Let me know how your matang turns out! Upload the photo on my website it you can.

      • muffinslover Australia joined 5/11 & has 3 comments

        Hello Maangchi,
        My matang did not turn out as it should be. The sweet coating did not cover the whole piece. Tried it twice and they turned out the same eventhough for the 2nd time I added the sugar quantity. I will send you the picture regardless. Anyway my daughter loves them and the taste was actually all right. I am not sure on where I did wrong. But I will definitely try again.
        Thanks Maangchi!!

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

          Yes, I saw the photo you sent me. It looks good to me!
          Follow the recipe closely and make it again. You will have to coat it when the syrup is hot, Otherwise, the fried sweet potato won’t be coated evenly. Don’t add more oil or sugar. I follow my own recipe when I make it. : )
          Let me know.

  5. Cornelia Bonn, Germany joined 3/11 & has 4 comments

    Hey Maangchi,
    this recipe is really interesting. Just want to ask if i might put the sweet potato chunks into the oven instead of frying them?
    Or just stirfry them in a little amount of oil?

    Greetings from Bonn (Germany),


  6. tyas jakarta, indonesia joined 1/11 & has 5 comments

    Love it love it love it..!!
    i love sweet potato at all !
    yesterday night my mom made steamed sweet potatoes for night snacks,
    actually i wanted to make ur crunchy sweet potato but my sister wanted it to be steamed T.T

    so, today i’m going to make the sweet cruchy one without any interruption.. :D

  7. Hi maangchi!
    I just tried to make this today…everything was going well until I tried to coat the potato chunks in the melted sugar!
    Everything started sticking together and wouldn’t coat properly ):
    What did I do wrong?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      oh my! You must have felt very frustrated! What a coincidence! I made it last night with usual sweet potatoes. It turned out ok but not as good as matang made with Korean sweet potatoes. The coating sauce made it crunchy though.

      The coating syrup cools down very quickly and gets hard, so you will have to follow the direction very tightly.
      “Transfer the potato to the parchment sheet. Leave a gap between each potato piece so that they don’t stick to each other.”

      You don’t have to use parchment paper. Put some vegetable oil on a large baking pan and place the chunks of finished coated sweet potatoes.

  8. Meegs Daejeon, South Korea joined 4/10 & has 5 comments

    In about 2.5 months I will return to America after living in Korea for just 2 years. I am so so sad to leave all the delicious food behind, like goguma matang! BUT because of you I can make them at home and remember all my wonderful Korean experiences^^

  9. RS joined 11/10 & has 2 comments

    Looks delicious, Maangchi! And thank you for the tip about how to see if the oil is ready for frying (those bubbles!).

  10. eviLeviathanMaybe Philippines joined 4/10 & has 9 comments

    It’s the same as the Japanese Daigakuimo. Only I like this one better because it’s crunchy :)

  11. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

    Mmmm, Maangchi! I remember matang so well. It’s delicious. My family will love it!

  12. samyoowell portland, oregon joined 8/09 & has 2 comments

    i remember watching this chinese restaurant make this as desserts when i was a kid and i specifically remember them dipping the coated pieces in ice cold water. does maangchi or anybody else know about this?

  13. These look delicious, Maangchi! In case you are interested, “ppotetto” is the Japanese name for french fries and it IS basically them saying “potato” with their own accent, haha. The Japanese also make matang and call if “daigakuimo”, which means something like “college potato”. Not sure why, though!

  14. susannevh rotterdam, the netherland joined 3/09 & has 22 comments

    humm looks so delicious, especially the Crunchy sweet potato fries. I had them alway when we’re traving trough Korea. I hope you had a nice time

  15. davidalvarado Red Bank, NJ joined 12/10 & has 1 comment

    Mmmm….yum. I will definitely have to make these this week. Thanks for the recipe, Ms. Kim!

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