Today I’m pleased to introduce a kind of fermented seafood made with squid to you. Fermented seafood is called jeotgal (젓갈) in Korean. Korea is surrounded by ocean on 3 sides, so you’ll imagine that a variety of fresh fish and seafood dishes are available all year round. My Korean ancestors wanted to enjoy their fresh fish for a long time so they developed a way of preserving fresh fish by fermenting it with salt. Jeotgal is eaten by itself after being seasoned, or its used in kimchi making.
I used to make salty fermented anchovies every year when I lived in Korea. It was very easy to make! I mixed fresh anchovies with a lot of salt and put them into a huge earthenware jar. About 6 months later, the achovy jeot fermented well! I used to use them in my kimchi paste, or I took some from the jar and mixed with seasonings to use as a side dish.
Now that I’m living in the States, such fresh anchovies are not available, but I found I can make ojingeojeot with frozen small squids.
Salty fermented squid called ojingeojeot is a side dish that you can keep it in your fridge for months and months, and enjoy it right until it runs out.
Small squid (fresh or frozen) 1 pound 10 oz (750 grams), 5 Tbs salt, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, green chili pepper, red chili pepper, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, mulyeot (either corn syrup or rice syrup)
- If you buy frozen small squids, thaw them out in the refrigerator.
- Clean the squid:
- Slice right below the triangle of the torso and cut crosswise.
- Then put your knife right below eyes, cut crosswise, and discard the eye part.
- Slit the torso open lengthwise and remove the innards and the plastic looking bone.
- Put the cleaned squid flesh into a bowl.
- Repeat this until all squids are cleaned.
- Scrub the squid to remove some any bubbles or foam.
- Rinse the squid in cold water a couple of times and drain it.
- Mix 1 pound 10 oz (750 grams) of squid with ¼ cup salt. Put it into a glass jar and sprinkle another 1 tbs salt on top (total 5 tbs).
*tip: For about 150 grams (5 ounces) of squid you’ll need to use 1 tbs kosher salt (or plain salt)
- Press it down to minimize exposure to the air. Close the lid and keep it in the refrigerator for 1 month.
- 1 month later, wash, rinse, and strain the fermented squid.
- Make seasoning paste. In a large bowl mix:
- ½ cup hot pepper flakes
- ½ cup corn syrup (or rice syrup)
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- 2 chopped green onions
- 5 cloves of chopped or sliced garlic
- 1 tbs chopped ginger
- 2 chopped green chili peppers
- 2 chopped red chili peppers
- 2 tbs roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- Dry the squid with a cotton cloth or paper towels.
- Chop the squid into small pieces and put them into the red paste and mix well.
- Transfer it into a container or jar and keep it in the refrigerator.
- Serve with rice as a side dish.
You could add more fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, and green chili peppers if you want. As you saw in the video, I made jeot but I also cooked some squid to eat:
- Put some cleaned squid into boiling water, cook for about 20 or 30 seconds and drain.
- Serve with dipping sauce or tabasco sauce.
How to make chojang (dipping sauce):
Mix 2 tbs hot pepper paste, 1 tbs vinegar, 1 ts sugar, and 1 clove of minced garlic