Octopus Banchan

Octopus Banchan 1

Today, I have used the tentacle tips and other scraps from a recent Octopus Purchase to make a little Korean style Banchan, or side-dish. This style of Banchan involves cooking the main ingredient with the Korean Chili Paste known as Gochujang, and a sweetener, usually a syrup such corn, or rice syrup, or even honey. The presence of the latter allows for such dishes to keep a long time in the fridge.

There is a very similar dish to the one that I am making called Nakji bokkeum in which additional vegetable are added during stir-frying. Typically, the result is served hot, often over rice, but the simple, banchan-style type is served cold…

Octopus Banchan 2

I am using just a little thinly sliced onion to augment my octopus (you could use green onion too). You can see the relative amounts I am using, but you could vary the ratio however you like. This amount of octopus will make only a single small dish, but you can easily scale up the amounts of the subsequent ingredients if you wish to make a larger batch.

 

Octopus Banchan 3

After quickly sautéing the onion, I added 1 generous tablespoon of Gochujang, two tablespoons of corn syrup, and just enough rice wine to make a thin sauce.

 

Octopus Banchan 4

Next, I turned up the heat to high and added in the octopus, about a quarter cup of water, and a half-teaspoon of sesame oil. The idea is to allow the octopus to cook very briefly as the water reduces.

 

Octopus Banchan 5

When the water has evaporated and you are left with a ‘syrupy’ sauce, let it cool and then serve. Normally, I would have sprinkled this dish with some sesame seeds before taking a picture but, in this case, I forgot … It was still good though 😊

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