Saturday, 11 January 2014


Ojingeochae Bokkeum translates:- (Chilli sun-dried squid) , Fried egg noodles , Squid ink , toasted sesame seeds , ginger mint , kaffir lime leaves , garlic chives and edible flower.

               Distressed squid caught in a discarded boat net is how I describe the forth of a series of five asian inspired tasters that has dated back to the New Years Day post. This is my version of a Korean dish in which traditionally the squid is shredded and prepared in the same manner presented here. Usually served with rice, I've left the squid whole and the rice out adding the fried noodles instead accompanied by the squid ink, garlic chives, ginger mint and edible flowers to bring it all together. The squid with a little bite from the chilli has a chewy texture similar to jerky but it breaks free easier in the mouth with a fishy flavour. The sun-dried squid was purchased from a Korean store in the city and the squid ink used for this dish comes imported from spain in four individual wrap 4g satchels and were purchased from a gourmet food trader in Fortitude Valley called the 'Black Pearl Epicure'. I used about half a satchel for this dish and it needs a little mixing like a fresh tin of paint as it has some lumps through it. This ink comes from the squid as suggested and is blue black in colour, ink can also be harvested from octopus which produce a black ink or cuttlefish producing sepia (brown). Ink was used for printing in the earlier days and is a defence mechanism used by these species, as its sprayed from the under side of the squid in this case warning off predators. Squid ink has a mild well rounded taste of the ocean and doesn't mimic any of the sea creatures in taste even that of its own producer.              
               To make this dish is very simple and starts by soaking the sun-dried squid in cold water for about 10-15 minutes. While this is soaking I brought a small saucepan of salted water to the boil and cooked some egg noodles, these were then drained arranged into two piles and shallow fried to crisp them up. In a separate saucepan I placed chilli paste, honey, soy sauce, minced garlic and rice wine and brought to a simmer. Once the sauce is mixed and heated I added the drained squid and coated well simmering for about another minute or so until the sauce is almost dry. The squid was then removed from the heat and set aside to plate. In a skillet I lightly toasted some sesame seeds just enough to release some oils and give maximum flavour to the dish.                                                                                          
                In presenting this plate a first placed a brush stroke of squid ink on to the plate using a pastry brush. In a pile at the start of the brush stroke I cut short lengths of garlic chives from the backyard to resemble seaweed or sea grass. On top of this I placed the first nest of noodles and arranged the tip of the squid head on top of the noodles. Placing another nest of noodles on top of the squid to look like the squid has swam into the netting of noodles and released ink in distress. On the the remaining section of the head showing i sprinkled the toasted sesame seeds and to garnish the dish I placed shredded kaffir lime leaves, a ginger mint sprig and cinnamon myrtle flower on top of the fried egg noodles.


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