when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
gochujang is a fermented red pepper paste that is used extensively in Korean cuisine.. gochujang is made using Korean red pepper powder, glutinous rice flour, meju (fermented soybean) powder and salt.. all these mixed together, and then left to age naturally in traditional earthen jars from six months up to a year before it’s ‘ripe’, or ready to be consumed..
gochujang is used to make dishes spicier.. and sweeter, if the gochujang used contains added sweetener in it.. dishes like bokkeum (stir fry), bibimbap (mixed rice) and ddeokbokki (braised rice cakeS) feature gochujang as one of their main ingredients..
gochujang sold in tubs (of up to a few kilos!) like the one in a photo below, comes in several heat levels.. mild, medium, hot, and very hot.. i normally buy the one labelled ‘medium’ so that i can control the heat level of the dish i add it into.. if i want the dish to reach sweat-inducing heat, i’ll just add a tablespoon or two of gochugaru (dried Korean red pepper flakes) into it.. mMmMMmm.. perfect for cold, rainy evenings~
the word bokkeum/bokum, literally means stir fry dishes with a sauce in Korean.. there are two types of bokkeum, dry (geonyeol) and runny (seupyeol)..
the recipe for today is a seupyeol bokkeum dish featuring ojingeo, or squid.. since i like quite a bit of sauce to be mixed with my steamed rice, i made it a little runny.. it’s usually on the thicker side, with the consistency of thick glue.. but, if you also prefer it runny, like me, just adjust the amount of corn starch+water before it joins the squid and veg in the wok or saucepan.. if the sauce thickens too much, simply add more water to it.. easy peasy~
besides capsicums, you can use other vegetables of choice to cook this dish.. it really doesn’t matter, and there’s no rule saying you can use only so and so vegetable.. so, go with whatever your taste buds want.. carrot.. onion.. green mustard.. bean sprouts.. spring onion.. bla bla bla~