Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bulgogi-Style Squid

For the few avid readers of my blog, you might have noticed a trend in some of the posts.  That trend involves South Korean-inspired recipes.  (I say inspired because, let's admit it, I am not a professional chef, and, I am a total rookie at cooking South Korean food).  It began with my personal culinary challenge to cook a main course (and two appetizers) from South Korea, which was part of my Around the World in 80 Dishes.   That was followed by an effort to Ojingeo Bokkeum (South Korean Spicy Squid).  And, then, there was the efforts at experimentation, first with Gochujang Chicken and now this recipe, a effort to create a Bulgogi-style squid. 

I realize none of this actually comes close or even approximates true South Korean cuisine, but, there is something about the use of peppers -- whether Gochujang or Gochugaru -- that has gotten my attention.  The heat of the chiles used in South Korean cuisine are different than the chiles used in other cuisines, such as the Piri-Piri chile, the Ancho chile, or my beloved Hatch chile. 

This recipe goes in a different direction, away from the chiles toward bulgogi.  I have made one bulgogi recipe in the past ... Flank Steak Bulgogi.  I noted in that post that flank steak is technically not the right cut of beef for Bulgogi. (It is ribeye.)  Now, I am throwing everything to the wind and using perhaps one of the most un-Bulgogi of ingredients: namely, squid. This was an experiment in creativity and, for a first time, it worked out fairly well.  The sweet (honey and sugar) combined with the salty (soy sauce), tied together by garlic, ginger and sesame to produce a fairy tasty dish.  

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 4

2 pounds of squid, cleaned, slice bodies in 1 inch pieces 
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice wine or mirin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1. Prepare the squid.  Combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, honey, rice wine (or mirin), garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.  Add the squid and toss.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

2.  Cook the squid.  Heat a pan over medium high to high heat.  Add the squid in batches and cook covered for about 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent.  Once the squid is cooked, serve with rice and a side, like broccoli.


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