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Appetizers

Spicy stir-fried squid (Ohjing-uh bokkeum)

The fact that we have a word in Korean, " anju," specifically for types of food that one eats with alcohol, should give a good indication of how much Koreans love to drink. The drink of choice can be mekju ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 3 fresh (1/2 pound) squid, 1 1/2 pounds total
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional garnish)

Step 1Clean and slice the squid into thin pieces about 2 inches long. Set aside.

Step 2In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, chile paste, sugar, chile powder, sesame oil and ginger. Set aside.

Step 3Slice the carrot into thin flat pieces about 2 inches long. Cut the green onions about the same size, on the diagonal, into about 2-inch lengths. Slice the onion and bell pepper into thin strips.

Step 4In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion and carrot and cook to soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the squid and the sauce. Stir in the bell pepper. Cook the squid, stirring frequently, just until cooked (the squid will turn opaque and curl slightly), 4 to 6 minutes.

Step 5Stir in the green onions and cook for an additional minute to marry the flavors, then remove from heat.

Step 6Serve immediately, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, if you wish.

Note: This recipe can also be made with octopus. Then the dish would be called nakji bokkeum. Serve with rice (or over a bed of rice for informal meals), kimchi and other banchan.
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