Wednesday, April 7, 2021

[Food] Jukkumi (webfoot octopus, 주꾸미)


[Food] Jukkumi (webfoot octopus, 주꾸미)

Jukkumi Bulgogi (Spicy webfoot octopus bulgogi in grill)

Jukkumi (webfoot octopus, 주꾸미) isn't a very well-known or popular seafood ingredient, even for many Koreans. I'd say it's a minor seafood ingredient compared to octopus and poulp which are very well-known for being eaten raw, steamed or  as a spicy stir1fried dish. It usually lives in the coastal areas of China, Korea and Japan (except for Hokkaido). It crawls among the rocks and pebbles of the shallow coast, and usually hides in caves and holes to avoid becoming prey to larger predators.

Jukkumi usually grows as big as your hand with its 8 legs, and spawns its egg from December to February (which means they taste best in the autumn before the breeding season). Koreans catch and eat them from March, after the breeding season, to protect them from perishing, and their eggs actually do not taste very nice; much like uncooked rice or chestnut.

Freshly caught jukkumi with ink that they just shot

I marinated jukkumi to cook spicy jukkumi-bulgogi :)

Fresh jukkumi is very chewy and gooey with a tough flesh that you have to chew a lot in your mouth :) Some people don't like its texture but most people love jukkumi's chewy and gooey flesh.

Jukkumi can be stir-fried, barbecued or boiled for soup but the best recipe (in my personal opinion) is spicy barbecue on grill. When jukkumi's unique texture is coated with a smoky and spicy flavor, it makes a marvelous synergy of taste :)

Put some well-barbecued spicy jukkumi into steamed rice or roasted seaweed with some spring onions or chives. It's really nice but it can be a little spicy.

I had jukkumi with steamed rice, and strawberries for dessert :)

There are many typical spring foods in Korea including strawberry, sole, mugwort, spring herbs, and jukkumi (webfoot octopus) is one of them too :)

This lovely spring, how about savoring a nice jukkumi dish? I'm sure that it will fill you with the blossoming energy of spring :)

Bon Appétit!

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