This is the last of my videos filmed during my trip to France. In my last video I showed how to clean and cook an octopus and serve it in the Korean style with a sesame oil dipping sauce. As I mentioned in that video, I have so many traditional Korean recipes using octopus to share. Today’s recipe is an easy one. Once you have the cooked octopus on hand you can make it in 10 minutes. It’s spicy braised octopus (Muneo-jorim: 문어조림), delicious and chewy, a little sweet, garlicky, salty and has a unique octopus flavor with a ton of umami. The more you chew it, the more flavor you get!
Muneo-jorim is a great side dish for drinking, and its saltiness also goes well with rice. Koreans consider it to be a special, high quality addition to any dosirak, so f you make this for your loved ones, they’ll know you think they’re something!
There are two main ways of preparing muneo-jorim. One way is to braise the head and tentacles separated but intact, and then slice them into pieces before serving. If you do it this way, you can keep everything in the fridge for up to 10 days. Whenever you want some, take it out, slice and serve. The second way to prepare it is the way I show you in this video, where we slice the octopus before cooking.
When I took the train from Paris to Nice, I was hoping the cafe car would sell delicious lunchboxes. Korean trains have some really nice ones! But they didn’t have anything good. I loved the train and the scenery, and the little lamp at my table, but I really missed having some good food to enjoy it with.
Coming back the other way, I set my mind to make a nice lunchbox and enjoy it on the way back. I had lots of octopus from shooting my muneo-sukhoe video so I got the idea of making a luncbbox with muneo-jorim. I bought a lunchbox container in France, which was deeper than the Korean lunchboxes I’m used to. Ours are more shallow and suitable for adding many smaller items. I had to improvise so it would hold all 7 items nicely!
If you’re interested in recreating the lunchbox I had, here’s what it included, with recipes:
Potato & soy sauce side dish – Gamja-jorim 감자조림
Seasoned dried radish strips – Mumallaengi-muchim 무말랭이무침
Little zucchini pancakes – Hobak-jeon 호박전 (recipe below)
Stirfried dried anchovies – Myeolchi-bokkeum 멸치볶음
Simple cucumber salad – sliced cucumbers mixed with vinegar and a bit of sugar and salt
Braised radish – Mu-jorim – I’ll post the full recipe someday, but if you’re eager to see how it’s made you can check out my braised mackerel with radish recipe
If you recreate my lunchbox, send me a photo! Yours might be more beautiful than mine! Happy cooking!
4 ounces cooked octopus tentacles, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (gochu-garu)
1 tablespoon rice syrup (corn syrup) or sugar
Heat up a pan over medium heat with the cooking oil.
Stir-fry the garlic for 30 seconds.
Add water, soy sauce, and hot pepper flakes. Stir it well.
Add rice syrup and stir for a few minutes until it turns a little sticky and shiny.
Add the octopus and let it sizzle for 7-8 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the seasoning liquid is almost evaporated.
Hobakjeon (Zucchini pancakes)
Here’s how to make the little zucchini pancakes in my video. These are great for lunchboxes because they are easy to make and stay fresh and crispy for hours until you eat them.
1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour or starch
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
cooking oil for pan frying (2 or 3 tablespoons)
Sprinkle the zucchini slices with ½ teaspoon salt and mix well. Let it sit for for 5 minutes.
Drain any moisture and coat each slice with starch or all purpose flour.
Dip the slices in the beaten egg and put on a hot pan
Gently pan fry the slices, but be careful not to burn them or brown them too much. Flip them often and cook over medium heat for 2 -3 minutes.
When both sides of the pancake turn light golden brown, transfer it to a plate. Serve as a side dish.