Monday, September 14, 2020

[Food] Ojingeo-bokkeum (오징어볶음, Stir-fried Squid)


[Food] Ojingeo-bokkeum (오징어볶음, Stir-fried Squid)

I'm not really a big fan of marine cephalopoda (squid, octopus, cuttlefish etc.) because I have a stereotype that they are usually very fishy and stinky more than any other seafood, unless they are just-caught and fresh. They were usually in a poor condition when I ate them at the school cafeteria or a mess hall because they had to be frozen coming all the way from the coast before being cooked.

Nevertheless, I really like two types of dish among squid-like foods, deep-fried and spicy stir-fried style under the condition that ingredients are not smelly and are very fresh. So today's menu is Ojingeo-bokkeum (오징어볶음, Stir-fried Squid).

Many Korean restaurants sell Korean-style ojingeo-bokkeum with spicy sauce and vegetables. They stir-fry chopped squid with garlic, spring onion, carrot, onion, spicy chili paste and powder for customers who love spice :)

Ojingeo-bokkeum in Korean-style Chinese restaurant

Osam-bulgogi (Stir-fried ojingeo and pork belly)

When you cook ojingeo-bokkeum, what's key is the freshness of squid and the sauce. You can peel the outer skin of a squid to get rid of its smell, but if it is a bit stale from the beginning then it will turn into smelly ojingeo-bokkeum. The ojingeo-bokkeum sauce should be spicy and haut gout (palatable), so each restaurant has its own secret sauce recipe for ojingeo-bokkeum. Freshly caught squid gives a chewy and savory flavor without the fishy smell, and spicy seasoning completes the taste with a spicy chili flavor.

Ojingeo-dupbap (Stir-fried squid topped rice bowl)

Ojingeo-bokkeum is one of the very typical Korean dishes that you can easily find and eat because it was an inexpensive and common dish before climate change led to a decrease in squid catch. But it's still a beloved dish in Korea :)

Bon Appétit!

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