Fermented squid side dish

Ojingeojeot 오징어젓

I sometimes feel like eating a small morsel of fermented seafood with rice. That’s Korean jeotgal, salty preserved seafood. It tastes salty, chewy, garlicky, gingery, and sweet with a deep, fermented, almost nutty flavor. Today I’m again introducing you to one of my favorite mitbanchan (preserved side dishes that can be refrigerated for a long time). It’s spicy fermented squid jeotgal called ojingeojeot.

Korea is surrounded by ocean on 3 sides, so you can 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 to preserve them in salt. This jeotgal can be eaten later with rice and other side dishes, or it could be used in kimchi making, too. It’s mostly made with seafood such as anchovies, shrimp, small yellow corvina, or pollock’s intestine, etc.

Among all the different kinds of jeotgal, this ojingeojeot made with squid is my favorite because it’s very easy to make and squid is available pretty much everywhere, fresh or frozen. I use frozen here in New York City because fresh squid is hard to find.

Ingredients

Makes 1 pound of ojngeojeot

  • 1 pound cleaned squid (See the video for how to clean squid)
  • 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
    squid

for the seasoning paste:

Directions

Ferment squid:

  1. In a bowl, mix the squid and the salt, then put it into a glass jar or an airtight container.
  2. Cover and refrigerate. Let it ferment for 1 month. Mix it up every week or two by turning the jar upside down, so the salty water mixes with the squid. Put it back into the fridge right side up.
    ojingeojeot (오징어젓)(1 month old fermented squid on the left, fresh salted squid on the right)
  3. After 1 month take the squid out of the jar and rinse it in cold running water to remove any excess salt. Drain and dry it out with paper towels. 
  4. Peel the skin off. It can be slippery so I usually use paper towels to get a grip.peel squid skin
  5. Cut into strips, chop the squid into small pieces, and then gently pound with your knife to soften it. Set aside.ojingeojeot (오징어젓)ojingeojeot

Make seasoning paste:

  1. Combine hot pepper flakes, rice syrup, fish sauce, green onion, garlic, ginger, and green chili pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Mix well with a spoon.

Put it together:

  1. Add the chopped squid to the bowl of seasoning paste. Mix well and add sesame seeds and sesame oil.
  2. Mix all together with a spoon and transfer to a glass jar or an airtight container.Korean fermented squid
  3. Keep it in the refrigerator and serve just a little as a side dish, until it runs out.Korean fermented squid side dish

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176 Comments:

  1. mase kul joined 12/10 & has 13 comments

    Hi Maangchi

    My first ojingojeot (22/12)was a success. I finished them in 2 days. Now I’m waiting for my squid to be ready (17/3) and let my sister’s family have a taste. I didn’t have any left for them to try the first time. They are great fans of Korean food and always enjoy the Korean dishes that I prepared.

    “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.” – Are you really referring to the ojingojeot or the salted squid cos my ojingojeot will not last more than 2 days in my fridge.

    Thnx for the delicious recipe.

  2. Lisbon88 Boston, MA joined 2/10 & has 4 comments

    Despite the dubious looks my family gave while I was salting the squid, I soldiered on & was rewarded by an incredibly flavorful condiment. The first night I served a small bit with a ton of rice and your eggplant side dish and a Chinese style green bean dish. My family LOVED it. I’ve been eating it every day with lunch since. Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe.

  3. bertintowncenter florida joined 9/08 & has 3 comments

    I am Making this Ojingejeot !! I know its Great because I Love Ojingeochae Muchim and Kimchi with Squid !! Congrats to Maangchi !! I want You to know Maangchi is THE BEST Korean cooking Teacher in the World and I am Soo Happy She teaches us all so well !

  4. Isabelle Stockholm joined 11/10 & has 3 comments

    Maangchi, what other fish can we ferment like this? Now it is February and it is not squid season. And I had another question: what do you think about mussles? I haven’t seen you use it. I looked it up and saw that mussles eat debris from the sea whereas oysters eat plankton. Is that why you don’t use it? Thank you Maangchi!

  5. oksipak California joined 1/11 & has 72 comments

    Sunday, February 20, 2011: About two hours ago, I took the salted squid out that had been sitting in the fridge for a month. It didn’t smell and was a beautiful color. Made the sauce last night because I was so anxious to combine everything together this morning. Needless to say, the seconds the mix was complete, I ate some with hot rice. DELICIOUS! Well worth the prep and wait. Thanks Maagnchi.

  6. orangetkdgirl Seattle, WA joined 7/09 & has 5 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I fermented my ohjingeo for a month, but when I pulled it out it had mold on it!! :( Can it still be used, or should I try again? And what should I do next time to make sure it doesn’t get mold?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      It depends on how moldy it is. If the mold is only on the top, then I would rinse it off thoroughly until it’s not slippery and remove the skin of the squid before adding seasonings. If the mold has spread throughout, I would give up eating it.

      Next time if you make it again, use more salt and don’t forget to sprinkle some salt on top of the squid in the container and keep it in the fridge.

      Don’t give up making delicious ojingeojeot. : )

  7. Hello Maangchi,

    I really enjoyed watching your videos, im a Filipina and i really want to try your recipes, just want to ask, i think i couldnt find pepper flakes here in Qatar, what we have her is chilli powder and chilli flakes, can i use those? and also can i keep the squid for 2 weeks only? i just feel excited to taste this recipe, hope to get your response :) Thanks

    • bertintowncenter florida joined 9/08 & has 3 comments

      Your Chilli Flakes will be fine ! –just be sure Your squid are well salted and in “airtight containers ” before fridge —ok ! After Your 2 weeks Rinse rinse rinse – to get away the salt !! You can Do 1 week or 2 week up to 4 week —

      -Bertintowncenter

  8. roseplum Indonesia joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    uhn nee, it’s this squid after fermented still have fishy smell?
    can i use lemon, so the squid not smell fishy?

  9. mystyle joined 12/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    Just wanted to let you know that I finished making your ojingeojeot for the first time tonight and I couldn’t believe how good it tasted! Thank you for sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to let my husband try it when he comes back from his business trip. He is going to fall off his chair:)

  10. muskratbyte Fort Worth joined 1/11 & has 7 comments

    I just started a batch of ojingeojeot tonight…. I’m crossing my fingers! Wish me luck!

  11. CrazyC joined 3/10 & has 5 comments

    If I wanted to make this less spicy, how much chili peppers can I put in? Maybe half of a red one, and half of a green one? Or should I put the original amount, but leave the seeds out?

  12. tcdavid joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    can i replace the squid with shrimp? would that make saeujeot?
    i made a little jar of kimchi last night but i’d like to try it with seafood..can i just throw in some shrimp in with the rest or do i have to ferment it first?
    i really like your website it’s always helpful :)

  13. Jujube New York City joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi, I a Korean-American and I really like your site because it helps me get in touch with my Korean side. I love your website and have been using it to cook Korean food for my parents. My Mom and Dad are so surprised and really happy when I make korean food for them. They say that I should be okay to marry a korean guy now. LOL ^_^ My mom loves this Ojingeojeot and I am secretly making it for her. I also made some extra seasoning paste and mixed it with some raw oyster so we could eat it right away. My mom was really happy. Thank you so much for your website and recipes Maangchi!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      haha, they said you could marry a Korean guy? That’s so cute! I hope your mom is very impressed with your ojingoejeot. Send me a photo if you can and let me know about your mom’s reaction. : )
      ” I also made some extra seasoning paste and mixed it with some raw oyster so we could eat it right away.” great! oh, I feel like fermented and seasoned oyster now,

  14. kartran Boston joined 12/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, I love this recipe but I think my finished product is too salty. I’ve already added the squid to the hot pepper mix, so is there a way to reduce the saltiness? Should i resoak the whole thing in water?

  15. JellyBelly joined 11/10 & has 5 comments

    Ah, I fermented my squid a month ago and was so anxious to see the results!! Yesterday I finished making it, but the squid looked a little darker than yours… Is this a sign of old squid?? :( I bought mine at an Asian seafood supermarket in a frozen box just like yours! >.<

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