Nakji Bokkeum (Korean Spicy Octopus)

I was introduced to this Nakji Bokkeum place in Myeong-dong in a narrow alley. I’ve been disappointed many times by this fiery octopus dish in restaurants because plates turn out to be all heat and no depth of flavor.
This place does it right. Their secret is ginger and a lot of shaved onions. It’s also fascinating how easy this is to make. Even though it’s technically a stir fry, no oil is used. The result is tender octopus in a sweet ginger garlic fire sauce.
After making this video I made this at home, and it was the best I’ve ever had. Here’s how to do it.
½ cup Water
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Gochujang (Korean Red Pepper Paste)
1 handful Octopus or Squid, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
Dash of Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Ginger, minced
1 handful Onions, shaved
A few Leek slices
1 tsp. Sesame Seeds
3 Tbsp. Gochugaru (Korean Chillie Powder)
• Heat water and ¼ cup gochujang on high heat.
• Add the octopus or squid. Throw in a dash of salt and pepper. Stir.
• Add sugar. Stir.
• Add garlic, ginger and 2 Tbsp. gochujang. Stir.
• Add onions, leeks and sesame seeds. Stir.
• Add gochugaru. Stir until it seems like the onions melt into the sauce.
• Serve.

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One Response to “Nakji Bokkeum (Korean Spicy Octopus)”

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