This squid dish is one of the most popular spicy dishes in Korean cuisine. The squid is cut into bite-sized pieces and stir-fried in a slightly sweet red chile sauce along with some vegetables. The sauce's main ingredients are gochujang (fermented chile pepper paste) and gochugaru (chile pepper flakes). For an authentic dish, there simply is no substitute for them.
This recipe is certainly hot, but not fiery hot. Adjust the heat level to your taste. One way to reduce the spiciness is to use fewer fresh chile peppers (or none at all). Fresh chile peppers are called for in the classic versions of the dish, but the heat can be quite intense with certain varieties.
This dish is perfect for those craving a tasty and spicy meal. The red chile sauce adds a burst of spicy flavor to the crisp vegetables and tender squid!
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chile pepper paste)
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chile pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Pinch of black pepper
For the squid
- One 14-ounce squid, cleaned, tentacles reserved
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium-sized carrot, halved lengthwise and cut on a bias
- 1/2 medium-sized onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
- 1 green chile pepper (or ¼ green bell pepper), seeded and cut on a bias into ½-inch-thick strips
- 1 red chile pepper (or ¼ red bell pepper), seeded and cut on a bias into ½-inch-thick strips
- 1/2 medium-sized zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut on a bias
- 2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Cooked rice, for serving
For the sauce
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
For the squid
Slit the body of the squid open and flatten. Lightly score the inside in a small diamond pattern with ¼-inch squares. (You can skip the scoring, but it helps the squid pieces hold more sauce and gives them an interesting look.) Cut into pieces about 1-inch wide and 2-inches long. Cut the tentacles into the same lengths. Mix the squid with the sauce and marinate while preparing vegetables.
Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the carrot, followed by the onion, peppers, zucchini, and then lastly, the scallions. Stir-fry the vegetables quickly only until they start to wilt, about 2 minutes. Push the vegetables to the edges of the skillet.
Add the marinated squid and any remaining sauce to the center of the skillet and 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 1 minute. Drizzle the sesame oil on top. (Do not overcook or the dish will be watery and the squid tough.) Remove from heat and serve immediately with rice.