Korean-Inspired Twist on Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes: Spike Your Side Dish ExperienceNovember 22, 2023
“Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street”
Each November in South Korea, streets fill with toasty aromas of roasted sweet potato cooked outside over barrel drums of glowing coals. At the same time, home cooks feature the tubers in a variety of dishes. One is goguma-bap, a dish marrying sweet potatoes with short-grain rice and a sweet-spicy soy-based dressing for a hearty vegetarian offering. The recipe is from the book “Cook What You Have,” using pantry staples to assemble easy meals, and calls for only 10 minutes of active work. Chinese chives and red pepper flakes are recommended for authentic flavor. Make sure the sweet potatoes are cut small enough to cook in the same time as the rice, and watch the steam while cooking.
Sweet Potato Brown Rice with Soy and Scallions
Start to finish: 50 minutes (10 minutes active)
1 cup short-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
½ cup thinly sliced scallions OR Chinese chives
⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
1 to 1½ teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) OR red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey OR white sugar
1 pound orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white OR black sesame seeds OR a combination, toasted
In a large saucepan, combine the rice and 1¾ cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium, then reduce to low, cover and cook without stirring for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the scallions, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes and honey. In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the soy mixture and ½ teaspoon black pepper. After the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, uncover the pot, scatter the sweet potato mixture over the surface of the rice (without disturbing the grains) and re-cover. Cook over low until both the sweet potatoes and rice are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Gently fluff with a fork, trying not to break up the potatoes. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve with the remaining soy sauce mixture for drizzling.