Fermented squid side dish

Ojingeojeot 오징어젓

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, toasted sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, mulyeot (either corn syrup or rice syrup)


  1. If you buy frozen small squids, thaw them out in the refrigerator.
  2. 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.


  3. Scrub the squid to remove some any bubbles or foam.
  4. Rinse the squid in cold water a couple of times and drain it.
  5. Mix 1 pound 10 oz (750 grams) of squid with ¼ cup kosher salt. Put it into a glass jar and sprinkle another 1 tbs kosher 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)
  6. Press it down to minimize exposure to the air. Close the lid and keep it in the refrigerator for 1 month.
  7. 1 month later, wash, rinse, and strain the fermented squid.
  8. 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 toasted sesame oil

  9. Dry the squid with a cotton cloth or paper towels.
  10. Chop the squid into small pieces and put them into the red paste and mix well.
  11. Transfer it into a container or jar and keep it in the refrigerator.
  12. 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:

  1. Put some cleaned squid into boiling water, cook for about 20 or 30 seconds and drain.
  2. 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



  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!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

      awesome, your ojingeojeot is being fermented in your fridge! You must be very excited about it. The red chili pepper is not important in this recipe. I used it for color. But hot pepper flakes are not optional. Good luck with your Korean cooking! Let me know when your ojingoejeot is done.

  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 12,006 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 12,006 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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

      Use more salt please! You need enough salt to preserve the squid. If it’s not salty enough, it will go bad. If it turns out too salty for you, eat just little amount.

  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 :)

    • quseio pennsylvannuia joined 12/11 & has 2 comments

      you could try honey i know its still bsicly sugar but its healthier !~ though it has antibacterial properties im not sure if its done fermenting byt he time u ad that or not

  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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