Spicy squid soup (ojingeo guk)

My favourite cuisine has to be Korean food, hands down.  Followed by Japanese.  Why? well for one, what’s so great about Canadian food? It’s practically the same as American food…meat and potatoes.  I mean we have the odd food that delicious and hard to resist such as maple syrup or poutine, however both can be pretty bad for you on a regular basis!
So as I sit here writing, and drinking my tea I’ll tell you my story on how I came across Korean food.  I’m warning you though it’s a long story, so sit back grab a warm beverage and possibly a fuzzy blanket because this might take a while…I’m kidding it’s not a long story at all!

I actually got into Korean food from watching Korean dramas, yes you read that right.  Korean dramas.  I must tell you they are A LOT better than our corny North American ones.   Anyways when I fist came across the cuisine there were no Korean restaurants in the city, (that I knew of) a few years down the road and they were popping up all over the place.  In the shows it always looked so tasty;  So when I finally got a chance to try it, I pumped myself up for the better and for the worst.  Sometimes food doesn’t always taste the way it looks, as you all may have encountered at some point in your life.  In conclusion, the food did taste as delicious as it looked!

So in today’s post I’ll be teaching you how to make ojingeo guk, also known as spicy squid soup. It’s really simple and only take a few ingredients…most of which you might already have lying around! This soup is also fairly cheap to make in the long-term.  If you’re having to buy all the products now it could be pricey, however all the spices and sauces that you need to buy lasts quite a while; And could be used for other dishes!  This soup can be very spicy, I’m the type of person who doesn’t get to bothered by huge amounts of spice and loves to over kill.  So if spice is an issue just use less of it! 🙂
I also came across many variations of this soup, so I combined the best aspects of the soup to create a delicious meal.
**Don’t mind my bowls and plates, I know they are nontraditional…I really need to pick some up.

**On another note I was able to reset my camera and get the proper settings again, SO my pictures should be all great quality from now on! (compared to the cellphone pictures from recent posts)  I know I’m not the greatest photographer but I try the best I can!  With all the being said though I’ve been really thinking about taking a photography course because I do enjoy it.

Yields: 5-6 portions.    Prep time: 10-15 minutes.    Total time: 50-60 minutes.

Equipment:
1 large pot.
Cutting board.
Knives (chefs and pairing).
Bowl (for thawing squid).
Measuring spoons.
Liquid measuring cups.
Large spoon (for stirring)

Ingredients:
2-4 squid tubes OR whole (it depends on how much you want and if you want to take the squid apart yourself).
1 -2 white onions.
4-6 green onions.
1 cup daikon radish…Or more.
1/4 of a green cabbage.
4 cloves of garlic.
2 tbsp fish sauce.
4 tbsp soy sauce.
4 tbsp hot pepper flakes.
1-2 tbsp sesame oil. (optional, for added flavour)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. Prepare all your vegetables and squid by cutting to the appropriate size. Onions can be a rough larger chop, cabbage and squid you can slice, daikon slice into bite sized pieces. (I did not use daikon in my soup because, when I got home I found out the one I had bought was rotten inside!)
  2. Combine all your ingredients into the pot including the spices and sauces (do not add water yet). Mix together making sure it’s well incorporated.
  3. Add 5-6 cups of water to the pot, stir and bring to a boil for 15 minutes.  With the cover on.
  4. Turn down to a medium heat and let simmer for another 25 minutes with cover still on.
  5. Every so often check on it, stir it and taste to see if it needs anything.
  6. You may serve this soup with side dishes such as rice and kimchi.  However it’s just as delicious on its own.
  7. ENJOY!
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How to- Stocks and broths.

As I sit here writing, sipping on my Baileys tainted coffee I contemplate whether or not stock and both are the same.  A stock, often used in many sauces, soups and bases for countless dishes.  A broth, used to make soups and so many timeless culinary experiments.  It also sounds well, better; On a menu you would say, poached with “spiced pork broth” not “spiced pork stock”. These words are interchangeable, making food items and menus sound more tasteful and more desirable to eye when read.
If you think about it both stocks and broths start off the same, slowly simmering on the stove for hours with a variety of items such as; bones, vegetables, meats, some herbs and peppercorns.  However there are slight differences to consider when being technical about something.
The definition of a stock is bones/seafood shells(and meat if you want), vegetables, and maybe some herbs/spices simmered on the stove for hours. The definition of a broth is meat or vegetables and maybe some herbs/spices simmered on the stove for hours.
What’s the difference?  It’s the bones, broth contains no bones at all, meaning there will be no gelatin.  This gives a lighter taste, and colour.  Now does this mean someone will be angry at you when you do say “spiced pork broth” yet you used bones to make it?  NO! I would never not use bones unless I was making a vegetable broth, to me it taste a heck of a lot better.  Also like I stated before, these words are interchangeable…and no one follows the definition strictly anyways.

SO, with the stock and broth lesson over here is how you make a delicious stock or broth.  You’ll never have to buy the salty boxed stuff ever again for all your soup and sauce needs.  Also, did I mention it’s super easy to do, takes little effort, and extremely cheap to make?
Scraps can be used to make any stock or broth, such as carrot or onion peelings.  Even though they are normally thrown in the compost they provide plenty of flavouring and can be used instead of using whole items. Saving you money and time.

In the photos I provide I am making a shrimp stock, using shells from the shrimp I peeled at work.  Which turned out to be very delicious and, made an awesome soup for my supper that night.

Equipment:
1 large pot.
Cutting board.
Knife.
Container (for storage).
Colander or strainer of sorts.
Ladle.

Ingredients: (for stocks)
Enough bones/shells to fill your pot almost 3/4 full. (you may use some scarp meat if you like)
A bunch of herbs.  Such as: thyme, parsley or rosemary. (If desired)
Onions/leeks. (peels are welcomed)
Carrots. (peels welcomed)
Celery. (washed)
Some whole peppercorns.
Tomato paste is optional if making a veal/beef stock.
Ingredients: (for broth)
Enough meat and vegetables 3/4 full. (no meat if making vegetable broth)
Herbs if desired.
Whole peppercorns.

Method:
**Because both are made the same way there will only be one method.
1. If you desire a different taste, roast bones and/or vegetables till slightly golden at 350 degrees or higher.   If you are making a veal/beef stock and are using tomato paste, roast bones and vegetables till golden.  Once golden spread paste all over and roast again for about 10 minutes.  You do not have to roast.
2. Place all items in a large pot (including drippings and small bits left on pan!!) and fill with water till just over your ingredients.  Bring up to a boil and quickly bring down to a simmer.  DO NO STIR AT ALL!! How long it simmers depends on what type of stock/broth you are making so here is a list of times.
Chicken stock/broth– No less than 1.5 hours.
Veal/beef stock/broth– No less than 8 hours.
Fish/shellfish stock– 1- 1.5 hours.  No more, no less. (less will be watery, more will be bitter and foggy)
Vegetable broth– at least 1 hour.
3. While simmering and depending on the type of stock/broth you’ll want to skim the fat off the top.  Using a ladle grab the fat the floats on top throughout the whole time it’s simmering. By doing this it will become less bitter and of course less fatty.
4. Take off heat and strain into your desired container, leaving no small bits.  Let cool.  End product should be clear and have plenty of flavour.
5. ENJOY!!