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close up of Korean candied sweet potatoes with golden brown caramel coating and black sesame seeds
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5 from 82 votes

Korean Candied Sweet Potatoes (Goguma Mattang)

Korean candied sweet potatoes (goguma mattang) are fried pieces of sweet potatoes covered in a hard candy shell made of caramelized sugar! A delicious, sweet treat for the fall or winter!
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 212kcal


  • 1 lb Korean sweet potatoes - about two medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cooking oil - plus extra for deep frying
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
  • pinch of salt


  • Wash and dry your sweet potatoes. Cut them into medium-small size pieces about 2 inches in length.
    sweet potato cut into small wedges on a cutting board
  • Add enough oil to a deep pot to fry the sweet potato wedges. Heat the pot over medium high heat until it reaches 340 degrees F.
    Add the sweet potato pieces and fry for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Work in batches if needed. Adjust the cooking time based on the size of the sweet potatoes. Remove and let them drain on a paper towel.
    sweet potatoes being deep fried in oil inside a metal pot
  • In a nonstick shallow pan, add 3 Tablespoons of oil into the pan, then pour the sugar directly over the oil. Heat the pan over low heat and avoid stirring or shaking the pan for now. (See Note 2)
    oil and white sugar in a shallow frying pan
  • The sugar will start to melt and turn into a light syrup. Once the sugar is halfway melted, carefully and slowly swirl the pan so that the syrup doesn't burn.
    It will start to turn a golden caramel color and bubble up on itself. (Note: Be careful not to burn the caramel and watch it carefully as it can happen quickly. Burnt caramel will taste very bitter. )
    sugar caramelizing and bubbling in a shallow pan with oil
  • As soon as the caramel starts to bubble and foam, add in the fried sweet potato pieces and a pinch of salt. Quickly toss them together so each piece is coated in a layer of hard candy. Discard any leftover oil.
    sweet potato pieces tossed in candied sugar with tongs in a frying pan
  • Lay the candied sweet potato pieces on a layer of parchment paper, making sure they don't touch. Quickly garnish with black sesame seeds before the caramel candy hardens. Serve once cooled. (See Notes 3 and 4)
    goguma mattang covered in hard caramel and black sesame seeds laying separated on a white surface


  1. Leftovers - these are best when consumed shortly after. You can store leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. However, the hard candy shell will softened and turn into a sweet syrup (which is still delicious).
  2. I recommend using a nonstick pan for easier cleaning of the caramel.
  3. I strongly recommend laying the candied sweet potatoes on parchment paper. Otherwise, they are very sticky and may be hard to remove from your plates once it hardens.
  4. Be careful handling the candied sweet potatoes. The outer shell will still be very hot.


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 10725IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg