I had an amazing opportunity to join Daejeon international center’s cooking program. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Thanks to them I am becoming quite the at-home Korean chef. Today I’m going to share with you my experience making stir-fried webfoot octopus with other foreign friends.
Introduction to Stir-fried Webfoot Octopus
Spicy stir-fried webfoot octopus, called jjukumi-bokkeum in Korean, is loved by many. It’s a traditional dish made by stir-frying webfoot octopus and vegetables together in a spicy sauce. While it can be eaten year-round, the ideal time to have webfoot octopus is in the spring when they are most tender. Personally, this is my favorite Korean dish as I love seafood.
If you love seafood and a bit of spice in your life – this is going to be your new favorite dish! As for me, I’m not too good with spicy food, but for stir-fried octopus, I’ll make an accepting. However, now that I can make the dish myself, I can change the spice level to match my tastes.
About Webfoot Octopus
In South Korea, there are three different types of octopus that are commonly eaten. The first is Mun-oh (문어), the second is nakji (낙지), and the last is jjukumi (쭈꾸미). In English, all three are just different kinds of octopuses. However, in Korea, they are recognized as three entirely different species. Using the wrong one would be comparable to substituting salmon for tilapia according to Koreans.
Webfoot octopus or jjukumi is the smallest of Korea’s three commonly eaten octopus species. The peak season for webfoot octopus is late winter and early spring, and that’s when the seafood restaurants in Korea fill their freezers with webfoot octopus, enough to use for the upcoming year.
- Webfoot octopus: 8-10 octopus
- Flour: 1 cup
- Carrot: 30g
- Onion: ½
- Green onion: one clove
- Perilla Leaf: 5 leaves
- Soy sauce: ½ tablespoon
- Korean Red Chili paste: 2 tablespoon
- Red pepper powder: 1 tablespoon
- Chopped garlic: 1 tablespoon
- Chopped Ginger: ½ teaspoon
- Sugar: ½ teaspoon
- Corn Syrup: ½ teaspoon
- Sesame oil: a little bit
- Rice Wine: 1 teaspoon
- Sesame seed: a little bit
Keep in mind!
- When preparing webfoot octopus, use flour to clean it.
- Remove the mud between the legs of webfoot octopus and mouth.
- Be careful not to blanch webfoot octopus for a long time (it can get rubbery).
- Stir the webfoot octopus with flour to clean between the legs and mouth.
- Blanch the webfoot octopus by running boiling water over it.
- Mix together the sauce.
- Add oil to the pan and stir fry the chopped vegetables.
- Add the blanched webfoot octopus and add it to the stir fry along with the sauce.
- When the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat and garnish the dish with sesame oil and sesame seeds to finish.
Note: You can switch up the vegetables to suit your tastes and the seasons. The best part about Korean cooking is that it is customizable. Korean recipies are not set in stone!
The result is even better than expected! It is super delicious (however a little bit spicy). My teammates and I were extremely happy with the delectable dish that we spend hours to making. I can’t wait to make it on my own. However, maybe I’ll opt for a bit less spice.
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Want to learn how to make more Korean dishes? Click Here to read about two of Korea’s most popular cooking YouTubers.