Asian-Inspired Fried Calamari with Gochuchang Dipping Sauce. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Asian-inspired Fried Calamari with Gochuchang Sauce

Fried Calamari is a fairly common Italian appetizer but the restaurant Kō at the Fairmont has a great take on an Asian-inspired fried calamari on their menu that is served with a Gochuchang dipping sauce. This is my own interpretation of their appetizer. Gochuchang is a Korean spicy fermented dipping sauce. You can find it and mirin, a sweet rice wine, at a well-stocked upscale grocery store, Asian grocery store, or online. If you want to keep with the Hawaiian theme, try to track down some Aloha brand soy sauce as well.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 350 kcal
Author Irvin



  • 1 pound calamari tentacles and bodies already separated and cleaned 455 g
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 inches ginger root, peeled and grated 5 cm
  • 2 medium garlic cloves grated or minced

Dipping sauce

  • 1/3 cup shoyu soy sauce Aloha brand preferred
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gochuchang sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 medium green onions sliced

Frying batter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 280 g
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour or cornstarch 95 g
  • 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper

To Fry

  • 4 cups deep frying oil like peanut, rice bran or avocado oil

To Garnish

  • 1 green onions sliced
  • Thai basil leaves optional


  1. Slice the calamari body into 3/4-inch thick rings. Place the calamari parts in a medium sized bowl and add the soy sauce, mirin, grated ginger and garlic to the bowl. Stir to coat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.

    marinate the calamari for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. While the calamari is marinating, make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients together, whisking with a fork. Cover and set aside or place in the refrigerator if marinating the calamari overnight.
  3. Once the calamari has done marinating, heat the frying oil in a wok or a large saute pan with straight sides, until it reaches 350°F. Combine all the ingredients for the frying batter in a large bowl, and stir vigorously with a whisk, until well blended and uniform in color. Using a chopstick or tongs, grab some marinated calamari, letting the marinate drip out, then place it in the dry ingredients of the frying batter. Toss to coat. You may need to separate the calamari from each other to make sure they are all individually coated pieces.

    Combine the dry ingredients together for the frying batter.
  4. Fry the calamari is batches, trying not to crowd the pan, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and place on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet or on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining calamari, making sure the oil has gone back to 350°F before frying new batch. Once done, fry the basil leaves, if using, for 30 seconds or until the leaves have darkened. Garnish the calamari with the green onion slices and the fried basil leaves if using, and serve with the dipping sauce.