Jjukkumi Gui (Spicy Grilled Baby Octopus)

Baby octopus are marinated in a spicy gochujang sauce and seared quickly on the grill. Tender, enjoyably chewy, not to mention a burst of flavor with every bite!
Baby octopus - Jjukkumi Gui (Spicy Grilled Baby Octopus)

I know that a lot of people are intimidated by octopus. If you’re one of them, I urge you to try your hand at it with baby octopus, jjukkumi. Baby octopus is naturally tender and easy to handle. They are usually sold frozen (and pre-cleaned) here in the U.S. In case you’re wondering, unlike the name suggests, baby octopus is fully grown octopus of a small species.

If you prefer, you can also use small squids for this recipe. Octopus, baby octopus and squid are popular ingredients in Korea. They are most commonly prepared with a spicy gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) sauce. In the past, I shared how to make a spicy stir-fried squid dish, ojingeo bokkeum. You can use baby octopus for that recipe as well. 

Here, these little guys are marinated in a spicy gochujang sauce and seared quickly on the grill. Marinating helps tenderize the octopus, so give it sufficient time to marinate. It will be tender, enjoyably chewy, not to mention a burst of flavor with every bite!

Baby octopus - Jjukkumi Gui (Spicy Grilled Baby Octopus)

Jjukkumi Gui (Spicy Grilled Baby Octopus)

3.98 from 34 votes
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound 10 - 12 baby octopus
  • 1 small cucumber thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)


  • 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste gochujang
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes gochugaru
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  • Defrost, if frozen. If not pre-cleaned, remove and discard the inside of the head and beak. See more here. Rinse the octopus well under cold running water.
    Baby octopus 1 - Jjukkumi Gui (Spicy Grilled Baby Octopus)
  • Combine the marinade ingredients. Pour over the octopus and mix to coat well. Marinate for 2 to 3 hours (up to overnight) in the fridge. Heat a lightly oiled grill or a grill pan to medium high and sear for about 3 minutes, turning a couple of times. Do not overcook. Plate them on the optional cucumber slices to serve.
    Baby octopus2 - Jjukkumi Gui (Spicy Grilled Baby Octopus)
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Recipe Rating



  1. Joe Penwell says

    5 stars
    I loved this so much! I used it for my food truck in my culinary arts class and had so much fun making it! thank you so much for this recipe! it tasted amazing!

  2. Abbe mohs says

    5 stars
    Just made this for dinner. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Made it this morning for breakfast and I love it ! Thank you for the recipe =D

  4. made this the other night. it was so good, i couldn’t stop eating it!

  5. Destania Suswantika says

    Wonderful recipe. I used fresh squid instead of baby octopus, and served it over rice with pickled cucumber.

  6. Robert Kiss says

    amazing recipe. they have marinated so well, loved it!

  7. I had this last week and haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since!
    I am so glad I found this recipe. Thank you!

  8. This seems so delicious. I want to cook for my Korean family. I hope I’d be able to make it right.

  9. conejitoasesino says

    OMG! This looks so good! We love octopus so I am definetly making this for my next family dinner. Thanks so much!

  10. Kitchen Riffs says

    I admit I’m one of those people who’s intimidated by octopus. Probably because I’ve had some that’s been really poorly cooked – this is one of those foods where you have to cook it very briefly (as you do here) or cook it for a long, long time. I gotta try this sometime – thanks for the kick in the pants.

  11. Holly @ Beyond Kimchee says

    Hyosun, good to see your post. I actually never tried 쭈꾸미. Can you believe that? I love octopus and squid, everything made with them. I bet this will taste so good, especially with grilling. Hope you are doing well.

    • Thank you, Holly! I’ve been incredibly busy this summer and haven’t been able to catch up with things. Try this. You will like it.

  12. Oh wow! I love the color of this dish! Where did you get the 쭈꾸미? I’d love to try this recipe!!

  13. Fern @ To Food With Love says

    This looks so good….will definitely be trying this soon!

  14. They look really flavorful. I have always been amazed with Korean spices and flavors. This is a must try!
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  15. I am not into octopus but would love to try this with squid or baby octopus. I am loving your marinate…Thank you for sharing helpful instructions and have a lovely week ahead!