Ojingeo Twigim (Fried Squid aka Calamari)

I had the pleasure of making  a pretty common Korean street food—ojingeo twigim, which is essentially another word for a more popular Western name, calamari. This dish is also often served as an anju (drinking side dish) with many Koreans snacking on this while chugging away on soju (Korean vodka made from distilled rice) or maekju (beer). I won’t elaborate too much on the drinking culture in Korea (it would take too long anyways) but there are specific foods tailored to the different types of spirits/liquors that one chooses to drink. Anyways, back to the food….the snack was perfect and it had the right amount of crunch and taste. We served it with some regular ketchup but I’ve had success eating them with a mixture of marina, sweet chili, and soy sauces.  If you can’t get the Korean frying mix (which makes this even easier to make), follow substitute ingredients below.

 

Servings: 4 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb or 5 cups squid rings
  • 1 cup twigim garu (Korean frying mix)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • dash parsley flakes (garnish)
Directions:
  1. Let the frozen squid rings defrost at room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, simply make the batter by mixing the frying batter, cold water, and salt until a thick consistency is reached. Add the squid rings and let soak for a few minutes.
  3. Pour vegetable oil in a deep frying pan on medium high heat.
  4. If time doesn’t permit a pre-soak into the batter, simply dip each piece of squid ring into the batter and fry it in the oil until browned. More than likely, oil will splash so be carefully.
  5. Transfer to paper towels or napkins to remove excess oil.
  6. Serve warm with ketchup, marina, sweet chili, or soy dipping sauce if available.
*In place of the Korean flour mix (twigim garu), you can use ½ cup of corn starch and ½ cup of all purpose flour. Also, whole dried squid that has been soaked can be used instead of ready-made squid rings.

 

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