Sweet and Sour Spicy Squid Salad

Jipbap Mama
6 min readMay 5, 2024

….This recipe is a national side dish for Koreans. It’s our taste that revives the appetite like licorice in a herbal medicine, to the point where the chopsticks are worn out from frequent use. This recipe, with its diverse flavors that everyone seems to have their own version of, was often made by my mother just as she diligently taught me. Interestingly, although squid is the main ingredient, the first thing we always pick to eat is cucumber. Every time, I skillfully make cuts in the squid to ensure tenderness and thorough seasoning, while lightly salting the cucumber to remove excess moisture before tossing it in a tangy and sweet sauce. As my husband reaches for the crisp and refreshing cucumber first, I sometimes playfully steal his chopsticks, slipping a piece of squid in before he notices… I may get a scolding for not eating together for the sake of harmony, but in the end, the squid is always left behind. Today, I made the squid slices smaller, and surprisingly, the dish was finished cleanly without the need for any fuss. Cooking teaches me to consider those who will eat the meal. If a small change can make the dining table more enjoyable, it’s not about compromise but about harmoniously adjusting with love… I still miss the taste of the squid my mother skillfully chopped and mixed with cucumber and Doraji(bellflower).

Servings: 3–4

Time: 40 minutes


  1. 300g of squid, finely scored along its back
  2. 250g of cucumbers, finely scored and sliced into small pieces
  3. 150 g onion, thinly sliced
  4. 40g of chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
  5. 1 tbsp sake
  6. Some sesame oil (optional)

For sauce:

  1. 2 tbsp soft chili powder
  2. 1 tsp sea salt
  3. 1 tbsp mirin
  4. 2 tsp garlic, minced
  5. 2 tbsp muscovado (or sugar 1 3/4 tbsp)
  6. 1 tsp sesame seeds
  7. 2 1/2 tbsp vinegar

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place wooden sticks on both sides of the cucumber, make incisions, ensuring the bottom is not cut, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

2. Place the cucumber in a plastic bag, add 2% salt based on the weight of the cucumber, lightly pickle for 10 minutes, then remove any excess moisture after the allotted time.

3. Slice the onion thinly and soak it in water for 10 minutes. Afterward, drain it using a strainer.

4. Heat a pot over medium-high heat and add 4 cups of water and the sake to bring it to a boil.

5. Parboil the squid for 1 minute and set it aside.

6. Slice the cooked squid thinly and set it aside.

7. Combine the soft chili powder, sea salt, mirin, garlic, muscovado, sesame seeds, and vinegar in a bowl and mix well.

8. Place the cooked squid, cucumber, onion, and chives on a large tray and gently mix in the sauce.

9. Drizzle some sesame oil if desired. Serve.

You can also view this recipe on Instagram.




Jipbap Mama

I started organizing recipes that my family likes. I learned these recipes from some chefs and popular blogs. May my daughters remember mama's food.