Ojingeo-twigim 오징어튀김 (Fried dried squid)
Sep 24, 2017
Dried squid was one of my all-time favorite snacks when I was young. I still love it and if I don't eat it for a while, I get cravings. I always keep a few dried squids on hand in my freezer. Then I can just take one out whenever I want it, toast it on the stove and eat it.

If you've never tasted it before, it kind of tastes like beef jerky but it has its own pungent smell, intense flavor, and unique texture. It's a little hard, but when you chew it, it gets soft with a lot of savory flavor. I usually slightly toast it over an open flame on my stove before eating it. Sometimes I skip the toasting and just eat it straight: I tear it into strips and eat it as is or I dip it in gochujang.

Dried squid is loved as a snack among Koreans, but you can make many other side dishes with it. The most popular is deep fried squid, called ojingeo-twigim in Korean. You can find it all over Korea, sold by street vendors, served in restaurants, or in neighborhood pubs, but it's always best when you make it at home because you can make it just as you like it. I like it with a thinner batter and a generous amount of squid, so I can really enjoy the flavor and texture of the squid. I don't like a thick, puffy batter with a small piece of ojingeo inside.

Frying the squid twice is essential. Just like Korean fried chicken (dakgangjeong), it might look crispy when fried once, but in a few minutes it will become soggy. Frying it a second time will keep it crispy for much longer. For convenience, you can fry some extra squid just once, freeze it, and then fry it again right before serving.

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