It’s time to make a very special Korean dish: Spicy Osam Bulgogi! Also known as Squid and Pork Belly stir fry, it’s such a delicious and decadent way to enjoy BIG Korean flavors. Tender squid and indulgent pork belly combine to make a smoky, spicy, addictively delicious meal! Fast enough for weeknight dinner. Special enough for the holidays.
Rev up your dinnertime rut with this exciting, irresistibly delicious, spicy Korean dish: Osam Bulgogi!
What is Osam Bulgogi?
Osam Bulgogi is a spicy Korean dish made with Squid and Pork Belly. A simple dish made extra special because of the inclusion of tender squid and indulgent pork belly.
Everything is thrown into a hot wok and seared until charred and smoky. The end result is a dish that’s truly mouthwatering. In this case, the mix of seafood and pork make it extra flavorful and fancy. The tender chunks of green cabbage and onion round out the dish and add lots of flavor.
The name Osam comes from a hyphenated, shortened nickname of the two main ingredients: Ojingeo (squid) + Samgyeopsal (pork belly). O + SAM = Osam.
Osam Bulgogi belongs to the Korean family of Bulgogi dishes, also known as “fire meat.” Generally, they are fast, stir-fried dishes cooked at home. There are so many different kinds of bulgogi to love! Chicken Bulgogi, Beef Bulgogi, and Spicy Pork Belly Bulgogi — to name a few.
A fast and easy stir fry, the cooking time goes quickly — about 6-8 minutes total. Enjoy the smoky deliciousness that is Korean Stir-Fried Pork Belly and Squid. YUM!
- Pork Belly. Thinly sliced pork belly is flavorful and succulent.
- Squid. Instead of whole squid — which needs to be cleaned and broken down — I recommend frozen baby squid. They require no cleaning, and their petite size means they can be cooked whole. Look for them in the freezer section.
- Spicy Paste. Mix the spicy paste in a bowl. Onion, garlic, ginger, Gochujang (Korean chili paste), Gochukaru (Korean chili flakes), sugar, soy sauce.
- Onion, Green Onion, Green Cabbage. The vegetables that add lots of flavor. The onions add flavor and aromatic depth. The green cabbage cooks up mild and slightly sweet, while taking on that smoky, charred flavor. Swap with mushrooms (oyster, shitake, button) or thinly sliced carrots.
- Prep ingredients in separate bowls: marinate pork belly, defrost baby squid, make spicy paste, and chop vegetables.
- In a smoking hot wok, add oil and pork belly. Cook until 80% done.
- Add squid and spicy paste. Mix well.
- Add cabbage, onion, and green onions. Mix well.
- Add fish sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Mix well.
- Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!
- Make sure the wok is HOT! The wok should be slightly smoking before adding the oil. Creates a sear on the vegetables and meat with brown, crisp edges. Adds flavor.
- Don’t crowd the wok! To achieve that seared, smoky finish, make sure not to crowd the wok. Cook in batches, if necessary. Otherwise, everything will steam.
- Use a large fish spatula for mixing. A handy tool for any quick and easy stir fry.
- Cooking time goes fast! Prep everything in advance to make cooking fast and easy.
- Marinate the pork overnight. If possible, for better flavor.
- Rice and kimchi. A perfect one dish Korean meal!
- Lettuce wraps, Ssamjang, and Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad) make an easy weeknight family dinner.
- LA Galbi and Carbonara Tteokbokki make a delicious dinner with friends.
- Wok. A carbon steel or stainless steel wok is essential for making stir fries. For this dish, I recommend a 14-inch wok with a wood handle. Make sure to season the wok beforehand.
- Large Metal Spatula. A sturdy metal spatula is a good tool for tossing the meat and vegetables. Scrape the side of the wok to get all those smoky, charred bits!
I don’t own a wok. What else can I use to cook this dish?
- Cast iron skillet. A heavy cast iron skillet is a good substitute. The cast iron ensures the pan will get hot enough to make a good sear. You may have to cook in batches, depending on the size. Don’t crowd the meat or it will steam! And make sure it’s very hot to get that smoky flavor.
- Stainless steel skillet. Choose a skillet with a large surface area. Make sure to preheat properly, so the sauce and meat doesn’t stick. Work quickly so the sauce doesn’t burn. Add more oil if it looks dry.
- Non-stick skillet. Generally, cranking up the heat on non-stick skillets is not recommended. Thus, that smoky char will not be as easy to achieve. Instead of sealing the juices with high heat, the lower cooking temp will create a more saucy and juicy dish.
Can I make Osam Bulgogi less spicy?
Yes, this dish can be less spicy. Simply add 1 Tbsp Gochujang + 1 Tbsp Gochukaru instead of the usual amount. I do not recommend taking out the spicy element all together, as it will be quite a different dish.
Can I make this in advance?
All the components can be prepped ahead of time. But I don’t recommend cooking until right before serving. Tastes best that way. Plus, the cooking time goes really fast.
Other bulgogi recipes you may enjoy:
Spicy Korean Osam Bulgogi (Squid and Pork Belly)
- Long handled spatula (for mixing)
- 1 lb baby squid (defrosted)
- 1 lb Pork Belly, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp Gochujang
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 onion, small diced
- 3 Tbsp Gochukaru (use less if you like things less spicy, like 1 Tbsp)
- 2 Tbsp Gochujang
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1-2 cups green cabbage, roughly chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped into 2-inch segments
- 1-2 Tbsp fish sauce (at the end)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil (for drizzling, at the end)
- Note: Once you start cooking, it goes very fast so make sure everything is ready beforehand.
- Marinate pork belly: in a large bowl, combine pork belly, gochujang, soy sauce, and sugar and mix well.
- Prep baby squid: make sure baby squid is defrosted. Rinse with cold water and drain, squeezing out excess liquid.
- Make spicy paste: in a medium bowl, combine onion, gochukaru, gochujang, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and mix well with a spoon.
- Prep vegetables: slice onion, chop green cabbage, chop green onions.
In the wok:
- Heat wok on high heat until smoking. Make sure everything is nearby, as the cooking time goes very fast. Add 1 Tbsp oil, making sure to swirl around the bottom of the wok. Add pork belly and cook, stirring with a long handled spatula until 80% cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add spicy paste and squid and mix well. Make sure the spicy paste covers all of the pork belly, about 2-3 minutes.
- When the squid is not fully cooked but the tentacles start to curl a bit, add the vegetables. Mix well until the vegetables start to wilt and cook down, about 3-4 minutes. The Osam Bulgogi is done when the Squid is fully cooked through and the onions are soft but the cabbage still has a little crunch.
- When everything has finished cooking, add fish sauce. Add 1 Tbsp at a time, tasting after each addition. You may not need at 2 Tbsp of fish sauce. (Taste and adjust accordingly.)
- Drizzle with sesame oil. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve immediately with rice and kimchi. Optional: serve with lettuce wraps and ssamjang, if eating Korean BBQ style.