Dinner Last Night

June 15, 2014

I love squid: it's delicious, sustainable, inexpensive and easy. When I first started cooking squid you had to remove the quill-like shell (it's on the inside, unlike other shellfish), take out the inksac (right behind the eyes) and the beak (inside the tentacles), clean out the interior and peel off the pretty lavender skin. But now most squid comes pre-cleaned so you don't have to bother with any of that. Modern squid is ready to cook, which means it makes an almost-instant dinner.  

Wandering past the seafood case the other day, the squid seemed to be calling out to me.  I bought a pound, took it home, and made this completely satisfying supper.  (The recipe is very loosely adapted from one in Bruce Cost's Big Bowl Cookbook.


Gingered Calamari with Black Beans and Chiles

1 pound cleaned squid

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 – 2 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil

1/4 cup shredded ginger

1 bunch sliced scallions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons salted Chinese black beans

2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

splash sesame oil

Cut the squid bodies into 1 inch rings.  If the tentacles are large, cut them in half.  

Bring a large pot of water to a furious boil, drop squid in, bring the water back to a boil and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove and quickly run under cold water to stop the cooking.  Set aside.

Mix the chicken stock, sugar, oyster sauce and soy sauce. 

Heat a wok until a drop of water skitters across the surface.  Add the oil, then toss in ginger, scallions, garlic, red pepper flakes and black beans and toss about for 30 seconds or so until the fragrance fills the air. 

Add the chicken stock mixture, bring to a boil, and cook for about a minute.  Add squid and wine, toss about for another minute and add a splash of sesame oil.

Serve over rice.

Serves 4.



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