Ojingeo Bokkeum (Korean Spicy Stir-fried Squid)

This squid dish is one of the most popular spicy dishes in Korean cuisine. The squid is cut into bite-sized pieces and stir fried in a slightly sweet red chili sauce along with some vegetables. The sauce’s main ingredients are gochujang (fermented chili pepper paste) and gochugaru (chili pepper flakes). For an authentic dish, there simply is no substitute for them. This recipe is certainly hot, but not fiery hot. Adjust the heat level to your taste. One way to reduce the spiciness is to use less fresh chili peppers (or none at all). Fresh chili peppers are called for in the classic versions of the dish, but the heat can be quite intense with certain varieties. This dish is perfect for those craving a tasty and spicy meal. The red chili sauce adds a burst of spicy flavor to the crisp vegetables and tender squid!

Ingredients:

1 medium size squid (about 14 ounces or 400 grams)

1/2 medium carrot

1/2 medium onion
1/2 medium zucchini
1 green chili pepper (or 1/4 green bell pepper)
1 red chili pepper (or 1/4 red bell pepper)
2 scallions
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Sauce:
2 tablespoons Korean chili pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch black pepper

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Clean the squid (see below). Slit the body open and flatten. Lightly score the inside in a small diamond pattern (about 1/4-inch squares). (You can skip the scoring, but it helps the squid pieces hold more sauce and gives them an interesting look.) Cut into about 1-inch wide and 2-inch long bite size pieces. (Do not make the pieces too small as they will shrink when cooked.) Cut the tentacles into the same lengths. Mix the squid with the sauce and marinate while preparing vegetables.

Thinly slice the onion. Cut the zucchini and carrot in half lengthwise and thinly slice diagonally. Cut the chili peppers diagonally into 1/2-inch thick strips. Cut the scallions 2-inches long.

Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the carrots, followed by the onions, zucchini, peppers and then the scallions. Stir fry the vegetables quickly only until they start to wilt, about 2 minutes. Push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet. Add the marinated squid and any remaining sauce to the center of the skillet. Stir fry just until the squid pieces curl up and turn opaque (about 2 minutes). Stir to mix the vegetables and the squid well for a minute. Drizzle the sesame oil over. (Do NOT overcook, or the dish will be watery and the squid tough.) Serve hot with rice.

How to clean squid: Grab the body in one hand and the head in the other. Firmly pull apart with a slight twisting motion. The head and innards should easily slip out of the body. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. Remove the skin from the flesh and the beak from the center of the tentacles.

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Comments

  1. Ohh I can’t wait to have some Korean food after this easter with so much milk products and French food. I just started an online cooking show, Swedish Home Cooking. Please check it out! Linn

  2. Hi, I like your blog and I’m interested to cook Korean food (I’m Korean drama’s fan too). I has tried cook a few dish and now I’ll learn from you. OK?

    Thanks!

  3. Linn and MaeJJ – Thanks for visiting and showing the interests in my recipes.

    MaeJJ – Yes, you will definitely learn how to cook Korean food by trying my recipes. They are authentic home cooking. Let me know if you have any questions.

  4. I love squid and spicy… This dish sounds perfect! Beautifully displayed too.

  5. Thanks. Hope you give it a try. My family loves it!

  6. Sooji Choi says:

    Hi Mrs. Ro, it’s Sooji! Michelle told me about your blog…congrats on the FoodBuzz shoutout! I’ve been planning to try your porkbun recipe soon…will definitely let you know how it turns out. :)

  7. Thank you, Sooji! Good to hear from you. Try it. It’s pretty easy. Let me know how it goes.

  8. omg, so excited having found this site!!! my hubby and i are obsessed with korean cuisine, we live in the middle of no where in michigan, to get good authentic korean food we have to drive 2 hours to ann arbor or detroit. even then, we make the trip often just for some awesome bulgogi, soontofu jigae and spicy stir fried squid, spicy pork bbq and stir fried noodles…ahhh… my mouth is watering just talking about. i finally had to get the gochujang myself and try to ease our craving by trying a few dishes at home. THANK YOU for this site!!!

  9. question: can regular dried red pepper flakes be substituted for gochugaru?

  10. KongKong – It’s always exciting to me to hear from someone like you who loves Korean food and likes to learn how to cook them.

    Yes, dried red pepper flakes may be substituted for gochugaru in this dish, but add in small amounts until the desired level of spiciness is achieved. The regular crushed red pepper flakes have a lot of seeds which have intense heat. Also, for this dish, you can just add more gochujang instead of using gochugaru. Adjust the amount of gochujang to your liking. Hope this helps. Thank you!

  11. wow, this looks lethal! can’t wait to try cooking it myself

  12. OJingeo Bokkeum is so yummy. I love your recipe Hyosun, tried it :)

    -B

  13. Just made this for dinner. So yummy!!! My hubby said he thinks this is his favorite Korean meal I have made yet. Thank you for sharing!!!

    Leah

  14. hi – this is one of my favorite dishes! however, occasionally when we go to the restaurant, it is not baby squid. Instead, the dish is prepared the same way but with another main ingredient. I cannot tell what it is (even fish v. meat), but there is a crunchiness down the middle that is either cartilage or bones. Any ideas what it is? Thanks!

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