Ojingeochae Bokkeum, Steak & Shishito Peppers & Mixed Tempura – this is my definition of a Korean Happy Meal!
Let’s dive into each dish.
The first is Ojingeochae bokkeum (오징어채볶음) – also known as Jinmi Chae bokkeum (진미채볶음).
This is an “everyday” banchan that Korean kids grow up eating at home and school. Its categorized as a “mit” banchan - which means a basic or everyday banchan.
If you go to Korean market, you’ll find Jinmi Chae (진미채). This is the name for squid that’s been dried, cut and lightly seasoned.
You can this Jinmi straight out of the bag. Many Korean Ahjussi (Older Korean Man) love to eat it as a snack – to the disdain of their wives. It does have a slightly seafood smell.
We’ll soak the Jinmi Squid Strands in water, then shake off any excess water and coat in a layer of mayonnaise. Followed by stir-fry in a spicy and sweetened gochujang marinade.
The result is a spicy, sweet and slightly-addictive banchan that kids (and grown-ups) love! You’ll see Ojingeochae Bokkeum served as banchan in dosirak (lunchboxes) and restaurants throughout Korea.
Best of all, it lasts for a long time – up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
P.s. This banchan is meant to be eaten cold. While you can eat it straight out of the frying pan, we recommend to refrigerate it first.
After its chilled down and turn sticky, place a few strands of the squid on a spoonful of fresh rice!
Note: In many recipes, we often substitute Korean Corn Syrup (Mulyeot or Oligodang Syrup) with Honey. But for this recipe, do NOT use honey.
It’ll overpower the entire dish.
- 300 grams Season Dried Shredded Squid
- 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 3 Tablespoons Gochujang Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon (!) Minced Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Mulyeot (Korean Corn Syrup) or Oligodang Syrup
- Few Shakes Sesame Seeds
- Soak dried squid strips in a bowl of cold water. Soak it for 5 minutes. Afterwards, give it a rinse under running water. Shake off the excess water - as much as you can.
- Then squeeze-on some Mayonnaise (2 Tablespoons) over the soaked squid strips. Coat it evenly with your chopsticks.
- Take out a frying pan - don't turn on the heat yet. Place in Water (2 Tablespoons), Gochujang Paste (3 Tablespoons), Soy Sauce (1 Tablespoon), Minced Garlic (1 teaspoon!), Sugar (1 Tablespoon), Vegetable Oil (1 Tablespoon).
- Now turn the heat onto a LOW! Use a spatula to mix the sauce evenly. Once the sauce comes to a boil, place-in the coated squid.
- Stir around until it is evenly coated. Then place-in 2 Tablespoons on Mulyeot (Korean Corn Syrup). Give it a final toss. Turn off heat.
- Place into Tupperware. Garnish with a few shakes of sesame seeds.
- Note: This banchan - can be eaten right away - but we typically place it in the refrigerator and eat it cold.
The second dish is Steak & Shishito Peppers.
Shishito peppers is called “Gwali Peppers” in Korea. Gwali Peppers are not spicy – making them perfect for use as veggies in stir-fries.
Mix these peppers with thin cuts of high-quality steak.
It’s the perfect weekday stir-fry - simple, savory and satisfying.
- 300 grams Beef Flank Steak (Or Skirt, Sirloin)
- 2 Handfuls Gwali Peppers (Shishito Peppers)
- 6-7 cloves Garlic
- 5 Button Mushrooms
- Few pinches Salt
- Few pinches Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Mirim
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoons (!) Sugar
- 2 teaspoons (!) Water
- 2 teaspoons (!) Mirim
- 1 teaspoon (!) Minced Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- Cut 300 grams of flank steak into thin strips.
- Place the strips into a bowl. Season with a few pinches of salt, few cracks of black pepper and 1 teaspoon (!) of mirim.
- Wash Gwali Peppers. Then use your fingers and remove the stems off each pepper. Cut the peppers in half with a knife.
- Wash and chop 4-5 Button Mushrooms in half.
- Then slice 6-7 garlic cloves into thin pieces.
Make Stirfry Sauce
- Take out a mixing bowl and place-in: Soy Sauce (1 Tablespoon), Sugar (2 teaspoons!), Water (2 teaspoons!), Mirim (2 teaspoons!), Minced Ginger (1 teaspoon!), Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon). Give it a good stir!
- Place some vegetable oil into a frying pan. Place on medium heat. Once the oil gets hot, add in the sliced garlic cloves. Once the cloves start to sizzle, add in the beef pieces.
- Then add in the mushroom pieces. Stir-fry until most of the red is gone from the meat pieces.
- Next, add in the gwali peppers. Followed by your Stir-Fry Sauce.
- Continue to Stir-fry until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated - we just want a little bit of sauce leftover.
- Turn off heat and plate! Garnish with sesame seeds. Bon Appetit!
The third dish is Mixed Tempura & Tendon Sauce.
We’ve done tempura in the past a few times.
But today, I’ll show you something new – how to make Tendon Sauce.
Tendon sauce is a sweet soy sauce that’s drizzled over Tempura Rice Bowls in Japan.
The restaurants add all sorts of ingredients to make this sauce, but you can also make it at home with Tsuyu Sauce.
Japanese Tsuyu Sauce is soy sauce that’s been infused with bonito flakes, sake and mirim – giving it smoky, deep and slightly-sweet flavor.
This Tendon sauce will bring out that restaurant-esque flavor in your tempura!
- 4 Tablespoons Japanese Tsuyu Sauce (aka Mentsuyu)
- 3 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Sake (or Korean Cheongju)
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- Few cracks Black Pepper
Tempura Ingredients & Dry Batter
- 10-15 Shrimp
- 2 Eggplant
- Few pinches of Salt (For seasoning Shrimp & Eggplant)
- Few Tablespoons All Purpose Flour (or Tempura Frying Mix) (For coating Shrimp & Eggplant)
- Good amount of Vegetable Oil (For deep-frying)
Wet Tempura Batter
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour (or Tempura Frying Mix)
- Handful of Ice cubes
Make Tendon Dipping Sauce
- Place-in Japanese Tsuyu Sauce (4 Tablespoons), Water (3 Tablespoons), Sake or Cheongju (1 Tablespoon), Sugar (2 Tablespoons), Black Pepper (few shakes) into a pot.
- Place the pot on a medium heat. Stir it around as the mixture comes to a boil.
- Once it boils, let it gently cook away for another 2 minutes on a medium-low. Afterwards, turn off the heat. Place it into a bowl - set aside.
Prep Shrimp & Eggplant
- Peel and devein each shrimp. Keep the tail on.
- Cut the underside of the shrimp half-way through (at the joints) to straighten them.
- Flip-over to the belly-side and score the shrimp half-way through (at the joints).
- Use your fingers to squeeze the shrimp and stretch them out.
- Lay them out on a tray and season it with a few pinches of salt & black pepper.
- Now place the shrimp into a plastic bag. Place-in 2-3 Tablespoons of Flour (or Tempura Frying Mix) into the bag. Twist the bag and give it a good shake. The shrimp should be well coated now. Set it aside for later.
- Cut eggplant into rough pieces. Season the pieces with a few pinches of salt & black pepper. Place the eggplant pieces into a plastic bag. Place 2-3 Tablespoons of flour (or tempura frying mix) into the bag. Twist the bag and give it a good shake. The eggplant should be well coated now. Set it aside for later.
Make Wet Batter
- Place 1 egg yolk into a mixing bowl. Then pour cold water (2 cups) into the bowl. Place in a few ice cubes to keep the batter cold. Whisk it thoroughly.
- Next, add in 1 cup of Flour (or Tempura Frying Mix) into the mixture. But do not whisk it in! Instead, gently push the flour into the liquid until all of it becomes moistened. It's good to have lumps in the mixture. (Reference video for more details.)
- Place the wet batter into the refrigerator - to keep it cold (until the oil is ready).
- Put enough oil into a pot or fryer. Turn on medium heat and bring up to 340~360F. Place a few drops of batter into oil to gauge the temperature (refer to long text above).
- When oil is ready, take out the wet batter from the refrigerator. Pick-up a battered shrimp or eggplant and dip it into the wet batter. Then carefully place into the oil.
- Fry the pieces until they get a light golden color (roughly 1-2 minutes).
- Note on frying: Don't fry too many pieces at once - the temperature of the oil will drop and the food will start to soak-in the oil. Also use a small strainer to scoop out any leftover crumbs in the oil. Or else, the crumbs will start to burn and darken the oil.
- Dip the delicious shrimp and eggplant in the Tendon Sauce - Bon Appetit!
- Throw in a few ice cubes to keep the batter cold. A cold batter translates to a light texture when fried.
- Do not over-mix or whisk the batter. Gently push the dry ingredients into the water until they become soaked. It will look lumpy - that is what we are looking for!
- See video for more details
-Daniel out 🕺
(P.s. If you’re cooking alone, don’t get bored. Consider listening to our latest podcast episode while you cook!)