Adventures of an American Seoul-Sister

Adventures and Observations of an American Seoul-Sister

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cooking in Korea: Ojingeochae Muchim

One of the biggest shocks in Korea for me has been the food.  I don't recognize a single item at the grocery store except ramen noodles!  Not a single vegetable is familiar, and besides that, all of the food labels are in Korean. 

So, unable to recognize any foods in the Korean grocery stores, and unable to stomach the spicy-albeit-very-affordable restaurant food, I am inspired to learn to cook Korean food.  I cannot, after all, eat ramen three times a day for the next ten months.

I'm starting with a simple dish that is popular as a lunch box food and is a common sidedish at Korean restaurants: Ojingeochae Muchim.

This recipe calls for:
One pound of dried shredded squid
1/2 cup of Korean spicy red paste
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1/3 cup of corn syrup or rice syrup
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 TBS sesame oil
Optional: Toasted sesame seeds

1.  Make sure the squid is properly shredded.  Cut it into bite-size pieces if necessary.  Korean kitchens don't often use knives, so use some kitchen scissors for cutting with an authentic flare.

2.  In a large bowl, mix the spicy red paste, veggie oil, corn syrup, garlic, and sesame oil.  It's take a bit of coaxing to get the oils to combine with the paste, but keep at it.  You should end up with a glossy red sauce of even consistency.

3.  Add the squid and mix well, making sure all the squid gets coated with the sauce.

4.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve as a sidedish with bulgogi (Korean barbeque / grilled steak) or as part of a lunch box meal.  Refridgerate leftovers in an airtight container.

Yum!  Chewy and sweet, but not too spicy. 

Since, I'm traveling tomorrow, I've decided to use my ojingeochae muchim as part of a lunch box meal.  My ojingeochae muchim will accompany wild brown rice, sweet clover sprouts, seasoned seaweed snack, and dried jujubes.

Stack it all up.  Add a couple of locally-grown apples and some water in my Korean-style water bottle and I'm ready to go!

Mashikke tuseyo!


  1. What are the jujubes

  2. Beautiful! I'll have to try that out soon. Thanks for sharing.