Fast enough for weeknight dinner. Special enough for the holidays. Smoky, spicy, indulgent, addictively delicious Osam Bulgogi!
Rev up your dinnertime rut with this exciting, irresistibly delicious Korean spicy dish: Osam Bulgogi!
What is Osam Bulgogi?
Osam Bulgogi is a spicy Korean bulgogi dish made with Squid and Pork Belly.
The name Osam comes from a hyphenated, shortened nickname of the two main ingredients: Ojingeo (squid) + Samgyeopsal (pork belly).
Osam Bulgogi belongs to the Korean family of Bulgogi dishes, which refers to BBQ meat that’s cooked over a fire. Generally, they are fast, stir-fried dishes cooked at home. There are so many different kinds of bulgogi to love!
In this case, squid and pork belly is cooked over high heat with a spicy paste and vegetables. The resulting flavor is smoky, spicy, and so delicious and exciting!
- Pork Belly. Thinly sliced pork belly makes this bulgogi so succulent and especially fast to cook.
- 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.
- Vegetables. In this case, onion, green onion, and green cabbage. The onions add flavor and aromatic depth. The green cabbage cooks up mild and slightly sweet, while taking on that smoky, charred flavor. If you prefer, swap with mushrooms (oyster, shitake, button), or thinly sliced carrots.
A fast and easy stir fry, the cooking time goes quickly — about 6-8 minutes total!
- Prep ingredients in separate bowls: marinate pork belly, defrost baby squid, make spicy paste, 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.
- Don’t overcrowd 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.
I don’t own a wok. What else can I use to cook this dish?
If you don’t own a wok, I suggest a cast iron skillet. 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.
A large stainless steel skillet also works well. Work quickly so the sauce doesn’t burn. Add more oil if it looks dry.
A non-stick skillet also works but the cook time will be longer. Generally, it’s not recommended to crank up the heat on non-stick skillets. 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)
- 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.