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Nanohana and Squid with Gochujang

Nanohana and Squid with Gochujang

This is a Korean side dish called 'muchim' made with a gochujang sauce. The gochujang sauce brings the slight bitterness of the nanohana and the sweetness of the squid in a delicious way.

Ingredients: 4 to 5 servings

Nanohana
1 bunch (about 170 g)
Squid (torso)
1/2
Gochujang sauce (easy to make amount)
☆Japanese leek (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon
☆Garlic (grated)
1/2 teaspoon
☆Soy sauce
4 teaspoons
☆Gochujang
1 tablespoon
☆Rice vinegar
2 teaspoons
☆Lemon juice
1 tablespoon
☆Raw cane sugar (or regular sugar)
2 teaspoons plus
☆Ground sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon
☆Sesame oil
1/2 to 1 tablespoon

Steps

1. Make the gochujang sauce. Combine the ☆ ingredients in the listed order. You can store it in the refrigerator for a few days.
2. Cut 5 mm off the stem ends of the nanohana. Soak in lukewarm water for a while then drain. This makes them firm and crisp even after they are boiled.
3. Bring plenty of water to a boil in a pot and add salt. Quickly blanch the peeled squid in the boiling water first and take it out to strain out the water. When it has cooled down, cut into 5 mm thick, 3-4 cm long pieces.
4. Boil the nanohana in the Step 3 boiling water. Put the stem ends in first, then push the rest in and boil quickly. Strain and refresh in cold water immediately. Squeeze out excess water.
5. Cut the Step 4 nanohana into 4 cm long pieces. Slice the thick parts of the stems in half lengthwise.
6. Put the Step 3 squid and Step 5 nanohana in a bowl. Add some of the Step 1 gochujang sauce.
7. Transfer to serving plates and it's done. You can add some additional ground sesame seeds (not listed) on top if you like.

Story Behind this Recipe

10 years ago I used to go to a Korean cooking class in Ogikubo, Tokyo. I took the nanohana recipe I learned there and added squid and a little gochujang sauce to come up with my own variation.
You might think that gochujang sauce is complicated! But you just have to chop and grate and mix things in order.