A popular seafood dish, Nakji bokkeum is hot and spicy stir-fried octopus and may be one of the spiciest dishes in Korean cuisine.
white or yellow onion
fresh hot red chili or jalapeño peppers
small red or green bell pepper
shiitake or one cluster (1/2 cup) coral mushroom
sesame cooking oil
Stir Fry Sauce
gochujang (Korean chili paste)[substitute]
fine ground Korean chili powder
coarse ground Korean chili powder
cloves fresh garlic
water as needed
Wash octopus well in cold water.
Cut tentacles from head, then cut into 2 1/2 inch sections.
Open head and remove the insides.
Cut head into equal sized strips (quarters or eighths).
Wash carrot and thinnly slice.
Cut onion in half from top to bottom, then thin slice (about 1/8 inch thick).
Remove stem from chili/jalapeño peppers, cut in half from top to bottom, and slice into thin slivers.
Cut bell pepper in half from top to bottom, then thin slice into strips.
Thin Slice mushrooms.
Crush or mince garlic into a medium mixing bowl.
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and mix well, adding a bit of water as needed to make a thin paste.
Let stand at least fifteen minutes.
Add octopus to sauce and let stand for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Heat a stir fry pan over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium.
Quickly add sesame cooking oil and carrot.
Stir fry for two minutes.
Add onion and peppers and stir fry for one minute.
Add all other ingredients and stir fry for about five minutes (Octopus sections should curl somewhat).
Serve hot with sticky rice and ban chan.