Today, I want to share a special recipe from my hometown, Gwangju, in Korea. This is unique enough to call a regional food. It is deep fried squid wrapped with lettuce, called “sangchu twigim” in Korean. We have many different kinds deep fried food in Korean cuisine. So why is this dish so special? It is special because of the way of eating it. We wrap the deep fried squid with lettuce and use a special dipping sauce. Once you try it, you will be surprised with the great flavor combination from everything. Try it someday.
Yield: 2 Servings
Short Korean Lesson
- YakSa (약사) = Pharmacist
- YakGuk (약국) =Pharmacy
- 1 Head Green Leaf Lettuce
- 1 Generous Cup Squid (10 oz) (¼ Cup Frying Mix)
- ½ Cup Frying Mix
- ⅓ Cup Cold Water
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
- ½ Cup Onion
- ½ Tbsp Green Hot Pepper (Optional)
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 2 tsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Vinegar
- ½ tsp Sesame Seeds
Obtain about 10 oz of fresh squid. Wash them good and then dry them off. If it’s frozen, thaw them first. Cut it into 2 x ½ inch strips. You will get about 1 generous cup.
Cut ½ cup worth of an onion into ½-inch cubes and cut ½ Tbsp worth of green hot pepper into small pieces. If you can not eat spicy food, you can skip the hot pepper.
Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce, except the vegetables: 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp water, 2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp vinegar, and ½ tsp sesame seeds. Stir it until the sugar dissolves.
Add the chopped onion and hot pepper to the sauce. Mix it again. Chill it in the refrigerator while you are preparing the other ingredients. For an even more flavorful sauce, you can make it one day ahead.
Mix ½ cup of frying mix and ⅓ cup of cold water in a mixing bowl. Sempio’s frying mix is made with premium grade wheat and ready–mixed seasonings containing onions, garlic, and pepper powder. This can be used either as a liquid batter or as a dry coating for your favorite foods. It has no preservatives or bleaches. Just mix this frying mix with water and you will get great flavor and very crispy deep fried food.
Add the squid and ¼ cup of frying mix (or flour) in a zipper bag. Shake it well so the squid is covered with the flour evenly. The flour will help the squid stick to the batter later.
Next, put the squid in the batter. Mix everything well.
If you do not have any frying mix on hand, you can try my other method for making crispy deep fried foods using cornstarch. Please check out my recipe “chili shrimp” for that technique.
Preheat the cooking oil on medium high or 350 F. Add the squid to the oil.
Fry the squid in preheated oil for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
Take out the squid from the oil and put the pieces on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease. These pieces are now very crunchy and delicious.
This is how you eat the deep fried squid. 🙂 Place one leaf of lettuce on your hand. Then put one piece of fried squid and some of the dipping sauce on it.
Wrap the squid with the lettuce into a ball and eat it.
You can use different kinds of meat or vegetables instead of squid. Once you try it, you will love it. I highly recommend it. 🙂