Ojingeo Muchim (Spicy Squid Salad)

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Ojingeo muchim (오징어 무침) is a spicy, sweet and tangy dish that’s made with boiled squid and fresh vegetables. Ojingeo is squid, and muchim refers to the dishes that are made by mixing the prepared ingredients with seasonings. It’s also called ojingeo cho (vinegar) muchim. Along with ojingeo bokkeum, stir-fried squid and vegetables, ojingeo muchim is one of the most popular ways to prepare squid in Korea. On a personal note, it’s a dish my mother almost always included in her spread of dishes for special occasions.

Cucumber and Korean radish (mu) are common vegetables for this dish.  I used cucumber along with some aromatic vegetables in this recipe to make it simple, but I know if my mother saw this, she would ask “where is the radish?” She would cut some radish into thick match sticks, salt them for 20 minutes or so, and squeeze out the water before tossing with the squid. This avoids the dish from becoming watery. Radish season is coming up, so try it in this dish for an extra crunch factor.  You can omit minari if unavailable, or use garlic chives or perilla leaves (kkaennip) instead. Cleaning the squid can be a chore, but the dish is pretty easy to put together after that. The perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and sour tastes in this dish will surely increase your appetite.

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