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.


Makes 1 pound of ojngeojeot

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

for the seasoning paste:


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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  1. Emaline904 Charleston, SC joined 5/12 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi, my college roommate was Korean, so I became spoiled eating homecooked Korean dishes that her mom would bring to us all the time. So glad I found your website so I can make all those yummy dishes myself!
    I started the ojingeojeot nearly a month ago. It will be finished fermenting this week, and I can’t wait to try it! I have a question regarding the peppers. I went to my local Asian market today to pick up the chili peppers needed, but they only had the green peppers. I bought the long, hot chili peppers that the store manager told me were Korean hot peppers. They did not have any red peppers, though. Is it okay to use green chili peppers in place of the red (so use all green chili peppers), or would that change the taste significantly? I am going to save some of the seeds from my peppers so that I can grow them myself next time! Thanks again for such a great site and well done videos! I make your recipes all the time!

  2. ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09 & has 45 comments

    Hai Maangchi

    I’m going to make this soon! my squid is rest with salt right now until 31/5/2012….{^_^}
    I dont have a problem about the ingredients because I’m going to KoreaTown Ampang next week. this will be my first trip there…. wonder what should I buy more but can keep it for a long time because it was so far away from where I live know…(about 8 hour traveling)…

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

      soy sauce, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, soy bean paste, dried seaweed, sesame oil, sesame seeds, glass noodles (for Japchae making), dried anchovies, kim (seaweed paper), … Let us know how your ojingeojeot turns out! Happy cooking!

      • ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09 & has 45 comments

        thank you Maangchi for your reply…. I think I have to make a list before I go…. but still have to check my budget firstly… hehehe…. I’ll let you know how my ojingeojeot turns out….

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

          okie! : )

          • ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09 & has 45 comments

            Hai Maangchi,

            I have a problem here…. my fermented squid will done at 31/5/2012, but I had to go out somewhere for about 7 days, can I hold it until 7 days? (total day fermented is 38 day), I’ll mix it with the seasoning after I return home…. sorry for my bad english, hope you’ll understand it… hehehe….

  3. Kerina Brooklyn joined 2/12 & has 2 comments

    Hello, Maangchi.
    I have made ojingeojeot, but I have a question on it. Is it suposed to be very chewy and near improssible to bite through?

  4. Chellexx boston joined 2/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    Thank you for this delicious recipe. I made one few months ago, It was too salty, but I still love it . This time I put less salt in it. Today is the 15th day. I opened container. It has rotten smell which didn’t have last. Can I stop fermenting it, and start seasoning it. Thanks

  5. SporeBrandon Singapore joined 1/12 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi ! I just started the one month fermenting process on the 31/12/2011 ! Last day of 2011 hehe. I just wondering, after some time there will be lots of water oozing out. Should i drain it away or just leave it with the squid? :D kamsahamnida !!!

  6. mamarlade99 kul joined 10/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi maangchi, I had just completed the 1 month project,I’m so happy! thank you so much for the recipe,been craving for this ojingeojeot for quite sometime, before I used to stay under one roof with a Korean,her mom’s home made ojingeojeot was so delicious,been wondering how to make it, now that I have successfully make my own jar of it, so excited yet nervous to try out :p…I will post the pic soon…and FYI, I have fermented it for more than 1.5 month,I hope it still taste great as yours :) cheers ^^

  7. LisaL USA joined 9/09 & has 19 comments

    Is there anything else that could be substituted for the corn/rice syrup?
    Trying to eliminate as much sugar as possible and would appreciate any suggestion :)

  8. Jason Nato Philippines joined 5/11 & has 26 comments

    Hi Maangchi. During the fermentation process, is it okay to leave the the squid outside the refrigerator? The temperature at home is about 30 degrees Celsius, but in my friend’s place, it’s about 23 degrees celsius.

  9. pingmouse Malaysia joined 4/11 & has 4 comments

    HI Maangchi,, Surprisingly after leaving the squid mixed with the paste for a couple days, the smell of rotten cheese is completely gone. My hubby and I love this very much. It’s spicy too coz I added some small fiery chillis instead of the green and red chilli. Even my 5 yr old son loves it! Thank you so much for this recipe. Will try out the others soon ;)

  10. kjsnoopy canada joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    omg! I cant take my eyes off from this . loos so yum!

    never thought to buy frozen one and try ! Thank you so much Maangchi!

  11. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    The day has arrived! After one month of fermenting my squid, today I am making this side dish. I can’t wait to taste it. I will take a photo of it when I am finished.

  12. pingmouse Malaysia joined 4/11 & has 4 comments

    Help Maangchi!! This is my first time trying your recipe and I choose this squid dish, my favourite. Today marks the 1 month of marinating the squid in salt. When I open the container there is a strong smell like that of rotten cheese. Is that normal?? Anyhow I went ahead to wash and rinse the squid and made the paste, mix the chopped squid in and now there are in the container in the fridge. I tried a small piece, the paste is great, the squid is chewy and a little salty, but there is still that rotten smell/taste to the squid. Is it edible or I must discard everything and try a new batch?? Would appreaciate your speedy reply. Thank you very much.

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

    Thought I would share this – I was cleaning squid to make this dish, and one of my squid contained a WHOLE, fish – about 3 inches long! It must have been caught right after its meal, because the fish was in perfect condition.

  14. hale vietnam joined 3/11 & has 2 comments

    I like this very much but did not know how to make it. I ate at korean restaurant one time. Thank you for your sharing.

  15. TinaTaz Florida joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    Yum… Thank you for sharing this recipe, can’t wait to try it. I want to surprise my friend (she recently took me to a korean restaurant), and I loved this dish. Hope it turns out good.

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