Spicy Dried Squid Banchan is my interpretation of a Korean favorite known as Ojingeo-chae-bokkeum. It is a dish, commonly served cold, featuring strips of squid cooked in a thick, sweet sauce containing chili and it is a popular stand-alone snack, as well as a side dish for a rice-based meal. Because it can me made well ahead of service, and keeps for extended periods in the fridge, it is a popular addition to packed lunches in Korea.
Preparing the Dried Squid
The Dried Squid must be reconstituted by soaking before use. If you are not familiar with the process, you can review the basics in my post on How to Use Dried Squid and Octopus.
Once done, the flesh should be cut into long thin strips as shown above.
If you have the tentacles for the squid, you can certainly include them. The ones belong to the squid used here were already used in another recipe and are absent. I would normally use them in a dish meant for private consumption, but if serving guests, I might just use strips of the body flesh as the uniform appearance of same-size pieces makes for a prettier dish.
The Sauce Blend
The major components of the sauce are Chili, Garlic, Soy Sauce, and Rice Wine, all mixed with water and a sweetener, which in this case is Rice Syrup. If the latter is not available to you, it can easily be replaced with corn syrup, or even honey (although the honey will change the taste more noticeably).
The Chili component in most versions of Ojingeo-chae-bokkeum is Gochujang. It is used here, but I am also supplementing it with a slightly more fiery chili paste, in this case Sambal Oelek. You can use either, or both, and in whatever proportions, or amounts you like.
The Basic Cooking Process
The squid strips are first fried in regular oil supplemented with a little sesame oil for extra flavor.
Once the squid is properly cooked, the sauce blend is added and then it is cooked down until it becomes a thick, syrupy glaze.
At this stage, the squid could be served immediately as a hot dish, but, typically, it will be allowed to cool and then placed in the fridge for later use as a snack, or side-dish. Generally, Sesame Seeds are scattered over the top of each serving as a garnish.
Your Recipe Card:
Spicy Dried Squid Banchan
- 1 medium Dried Squid;
- ½ – 1 tsp. Gochujang;
- 1 tsp. fresh Chili Paste Sambal Oelek is fine
- 2 tsp. Garlic puree;
- 1 tbsp. Brown Rice Syrup or use corn syrup or honey;
- 1 tsp. Light Soy Sauce;
- 1 tbsp. Rice Wine;
- ½ cup Water;
- Sesame Seeds and Sesame Oil;
- Reconstitute the squid by soaking and cut the flesh into narrow strips.
- Mix together the remaining ingredients except the sesame seeds and sesame oil and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil in a pan over moderate heat and add a splash of Sesame Oil. Throw in the squid strips and sauté just until the aroma rises and they are all heated through.
- Add the sauce mix and allow everything to cook over moderate heat until the liquid is almost evaporated and forms a thick glaze over the squid.
- Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature sprinkled with Sesame Seeds as a garnish.