Ojingeo bokkeum (오징어 볶음) is a spicy stir-fried squid dish. Ojingeo is squid, and bokkeum refers to the dishes that are stir-fried. Koreans love squid, and this spicy dish is highly popular at home and restaurants. For this dish, the squid is cut into bite-sized pieces and stir-fried in a slightly sweet gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) based sauce along with some vegetables. The red spicy sauce adds a burst of spicy flavor to the crisp vegetables and tender squid!
In this post, I’ve updated my squid recipe that was originally posted in April 2010 with more information, new photos and an improved recipe.
Once you clean the squid, the dish cooks up very quickly.
How to prepare 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. Then, cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes.
Remove the skin from the flesh and the beak from the center of the tentacles. However, Korean cooks commonly leave the squid skin on. It’s a matter of preference and depends on the squid.
Finally, some people lightly score the squid in a small diamond pattern (about 1/4-inch squares). It helps the squid pieces hold more sauce and gives them an interesting look. I skipped scoring in this updated post. Instead, I left the squid body whole and cut into rings. You can also cut the squid body open and then into about 3/4-inch wide and 3-inch long bite size pieces.
The seasoning mix is made with staple Korean ingredients, such as gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes), gochujang (red chili pepper paste), garlic, ginger, etc. This recipe is certainly hot, but not fiery hot. If necessary, you can adjust the heat level to your taste by using more or less gochugaru.
I used onion, carrot, zucchini, and scallions in this recipe. Green cabbage and bell peppers are also common. Fresh hot chili peppers are also commonly used in this dish, but the heat can be quite intense with certain varieties.
More squid recipe
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Ojingeo bokkeum (spicy stir-fried squid)
Ojingeo bokkeum is a spicy stir-fried squid. If you love squid and spicy food, this flavor packed dish is easy to make with a few Korean staple ingredients.
- 1 medium size squid (about 14 ounces)
- 1/2 medium carrot
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1/2 medium zucchini
- 2 scallions
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons Korean chili pepper paste (gochujang)
- 1 tablespoon Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru – 1 or 2 teaspoons more for a spicier dish)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup (or 1 more teaspoon sugar)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- pinch black pepper
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Clean the squid (see note). Cut the body into about 3/4-inch rings (or slit the body open and cut into 3/4-inch wide, 2-inch long bite size pieces). Do not make the pieces too small as they will shrink when cooked. Cut the tentacles into the same lengths. See note if you want to score the squid.
- Mix the squid with the seasoning mix and marinate while preparing vegetables.
- Slice the onion. Cut the zucchini and carrot into half lengthwise and thinly slice into 2-inch long pieces. Cut the scallions 2-inches long.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the carrots, followed by the onions, zucchini, peppers and then the scallions. Stir fry the vegetables quickly only until they start to wilt, about 2 minutes.
Push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet. Add the marinated squid and any remaining sauce to the center of the skillet. Stir fry just until the squid pieces curl up and turn opaque (about 2 minutes).
Stir to mix the vegetables and the squid well for a minute. Drizzle the sesame oil over. (Do NOT overcook the squid. The squid will get tough.) Serve warm with a bowl of rice or on top of rice.
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. You can also insert a fork or spoon to loosen up the innards from the inside of the body. the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. Remove the skin from the flesh and the beak from the center of the tentacles.
How to score the squid: Slit the body open and flatten. Lightly score the inside in a small diamond pattern (about 1/4-inch squares).