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Candied Sweet Potatoes, Goguma Mattang
고구마 맛탕

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quick n easy
kid friendly
prep time: 
10 min
inactive time: 
5 min
cooking time: 
20 min
total time: 
35 min

Koreans love sweet potatoes and they enjoy them in every way possible. Sweet potato pizza, sweet potato latte, sweet potato cake and sweet potato chips are all examples of the modern Korean obsession with sweet potatoes. Sweet potato is also very popular as a diet food, as it is filling yet low in calories and high in dietary fiber.

Mat Tang, or Candied Sweet Potatoes, is a traditional way of enjoying sweet potatoes. It is an incredibly delicious side dish that can also be served as a snack or dessert. The sweet candy-like outer layer is perfectly harmonized with the soft texture and wholesome flavor of sweet potato. It’s great for parties if you thread them onto toothpicks or skewers. It can be a great alternative to cookies and candies for kids too.

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main ingredients

1 lbKorean Sweet Potatoes 고구마 (about 2-3 sweet potatoes depending on the size)
4 cupsVegetable Oil 식용유

for sauce

⅓ cupSugar 설탕
⅓ cupWater 물
1 tbsVegetable Oil 식용유
1 tbsMul Yeot / Malt (Maltose) Syrup 물엿 (optional)
¼ tspSoy Sauce (regular) 왜간장 (optional)
2 tspBlack Sesame Seeds 검은깨 (optional)

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Mulyeot: increases stickiness and shine. It can be omitted or replaced by jocheong (rice syrup) or honey.
Soy sauce: can be omitted.
Black sesame seeds: can be omitted or replaced with regular sesame seeds.
Sweet Potatoes:Traditionally, Korean sweet potatoes (also known as koimo sweet potatoes in North America) are used for this recipe but you can also use different species of sweet potatoes, such as yam.

You can use the same recipe without deep-frying the sweet potatoes. Pan-fry sweet potatoes in vegetable oil on high heat until brown and use the same sauce. It will be similar in taste but will not have the candy-like crispy texture.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Prepare

Peel and wash 450g of sweet potatoes (2-3 sweet potatoes depending on the size). Cut them into bite-sized pieces, about ¾” to 1” (2 to 3 cm) squares.

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Peel & Wash

  • 450g sweet potatoes

Cut into bite sizes

2. Soak

Soak the cut sweet potatoes in water for 5 minutes. Dry them well with a paper towel. Moisture on the sweet potatoes can cause the hot oil to splash all over you when frying.

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  • image: clock.png 5 min

Dry well

with paper towel

3. Fry

Pour 4 cups of vegetable oil into a pot. Preheat oil to 180°C/350°F. Deep-fry the sweet potatoes in preheated oil until they turn golden brown (or until a fork or a chopstick is easily poked into the sweet potatoes).

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  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 180°C/350°F

Deep fry

  • until golden brown

or easily poked

4. Drain fat

Take them out of the oil with a mesh and place them in a strainer or on paper towel to remove some oil.

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Take out

  • place in a strainer

5. Make sauce

In a heated pan, put ⅓ cup of water and ⅓ cup of sugar. Cook it on medium heat without stirring for about 4-5 min or until the sugar is completely melted and the sauce is reduced a bit. Add 1 tablespoon of mulyeot, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, ¼ teaspoon of soy sauce and cook for another 3-5 min.

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  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar


  • 1 tbs mulyeot
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp soy sauce

6. Coat sweet potatoes

Reduce heat to low. Add the deep-fried sweet potatoes and mix them quickly. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of black sesame seeds.

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Reduce heat

Low Heat image: lowheat.png


  • sweet potatoes



  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds

7. Serve

Place the candied sweet potatoes on a plate. To prevent the sweet potatoes from sticking to the plate, coat the serving plate with vegetable oil. Enjoy!

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