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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1 medium squid (about 14 ounces)
1 kirby cucumber or 1/2 Korean cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
a few stalks minari (water dropwort), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 green or red chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 scallion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon corn syrup
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
pinch salt and pepper

DSC_0144Clean the squid (see below). Bring a medium pot of water to a rapid boil. Drop the squid in, and cook briefly, about a minute. Quickly remove, and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking and cool.


Ojingeo Muchim recipe 5Cut the squid into thin bite size strips (about 1/3-inch thick, 2-inch long). Keep it in the fridge to cool.



Ojingeo Muchim recipe 6Prepare the vegetables.




Ojingeo Muchim recipe 6Mix all the sauce ingredients together.




DSC_0153Combine the sauce and squid and mix well. Add the vegetables and toss well. Add more sugar, salt, or and/or vinegar to taste. Serve chilled.



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 beak from the tentacles and the skin from the flesh.

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  1. The squid salad looks fantastic---I can't wait to make it. Thank you for posting the recipe; I know my family will love it. Could you tell me when we should be able to get good Napa cabbages and Korean radishes for kimchi in our area (I'm in metro area of MD)? I really want to try your kimchi recipes this year. Thanks
    • Cabbages and radishes are good right now. Sorry about the delayed response. I got behind with moderating comments during my recent Korea trip.
  2. Delicious and refreshing dish! I paired it with hot rice, simple bean sprout soup and thin sheets of toasted seaweed. Thank you for posting this one!
  3. this came out perfect...i love all your recipes! they're spot on and easy to follow. i was born and raised here but my parents are Korean. we don't always see eye to eye on lots of things but we can always connect when it comes to good Korean food. i actually just recently learned how to make Korean food as an adult using your recipes and my mom is constantly impressed with how much i know now! thank you for posting all of these awesome recipes :)
  4. 1 of my favorite Korean dishes, I usually wrap it together with the pork meat in samsyeopsal :)
  5. I never used exact measurement when making this dish...but decided to use your exact measurements and it came out wonderfully. This is my husband's favorite dish and he really likes your recipe! Now, I can make this dish without worrying if it will come out well...because of your measurements. Thank you so very much!!!