Chinese Style Squid Stir-Fry

Chinese style Squid Stir Fry | Omnivore's Cookbook

This squid stir-fry is a new dish I’ve been trying to cook lately and I love it! I really like seafood, especially shrimp, but sometimes it’s difficult to find very fresh shrimp in the supermarket. So I went for the next best thing – squid. The squid here is very cheap and fresh and tastes great.

Although my first favorite squid dish is fried squid rings (frying makes everything better, right?), I decided to try stir-frying since it’s healthier. The flavor? It surprised me. No kidding.  The stir fried squid is very tender, with a slightly sweet and savory flavor and tangy fragrance of ginger and garlic. The dish is light, yet very satisfying. It goes great with a bowl of steamed rice.

Chinese style Squid Stir Fry | Omnivore's Cookbook

So, I was shooting the video for preparation of the squid, but I failed miserably. Although I’ve prepared squid countless times, this time I accidentally broke the digestive gland when cleaning,  and the brownish muddy liquid went everywhere, and it was so SMELLY. The truth is, if you’ve never cleaned a squid before, don’t be afraid since it’s very easy. But, the cleaning process does not look very fancy in front of a camera. Instead of putting this disturbing episode of squid preparation into the video and ruining your appetite, I suggest you read these instructions, which are very clear and helpful in explaining how to prepare a squid before cooking.

Chinese style Squid Stir Fry - Ingredients | Omnivore's Cookbook

When cooking squid, it’s OK to stir fry it immediately cleaning and cutting, but I found that the texture will be tenderer if you boil it first. Squid meat cooks through very quickly, and the texture will become rubbery and tough if overcooked. Boiling the squid first will help you to make sure it’ll be cooked through and infused with flavor without needing to stir-fry it for very long.

The types of green vegetables that can be used in this dish are very flexible. Besides baby bok choy, you could use Chinese broccoli, broccoli or spinach. For any of those 3 vegetables, you can slightly boil them instead of sauteing them in oil. So, instead of step 4 in the recipe below, you can pour the squid and sauce onto the blanched green vegetables. It will taste just as good and contain fewer calories. I stir fried the baby bok choy in the recipe since this one is easier to cook through and it looks better this way.

Chinese style Squid Stir Fry | Omnivore's Cookbook

I made a video to show you the cooking process. If you’re reading this post by email and don’t see the video, you can go to my channel on YouTube to watch it.


Chinese style Squid Stir-Fry

Chinese style Squid Stir-Fry

This squid stir-fry is a new dish I’ve been trying to cook lately and I love it! I really like seafood, especially shrimp, but sometimes it’s difficult to find very fresh shrimp in the supermarket. So I went for the next best thing – squid. The squid here is very cheap and fresh and tastes great.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 236kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium size squid , tentacles separated and body cut into rings
  • 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 chili pepper , dried
  • 2 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger , minced
  • 6-8 heads baby bok choy , trimmed


  • In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce and water. Set aside.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add squid and boil for 30 - 40 seconds, till the surface turns white but the squid is not cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a wok on medium high heat. When wok is heated, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, chili pepper, garlic and ginger. Give it a quick stir until fragrant, add mixed sauce from step 1 and keep stirring to avoid burning the sauce. When the sauce has reduced to half, after about 30 seconds, add boiled squid into wok and stir until squid is cooked through, in about 30 - 40 seconds. Remove from heat and place squid and sauce on a plate. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the sauce into a separate bowl for cooking the baby bok choy.
  • Heat the same wok on medium high heat, add the rest of the oil and swirl. Add the baby bok choy and stir a few times. Add the 1 tablespoon of sauce from step 3 and keep stirring, until baby bok choy is cooked through but still crisp. Remove from heat and place baby bok choy on a plate. Add the squid with all the sauce onto the bok choy.
  • Serve immediately with steamed rice.


Serving: 388g | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.1g | Protein: 27.1g | Fat: 7.6g | Saturated Fat: 1.6g | Cholesterol: 350mg | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 942mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 7.2g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 170mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 16mg


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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

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9 thoughts on “Chinese Style Squid Stir-Fry

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Nami, thanks for stopping by! I can see that you’re again work till very late. Glad you like the recipe and hope you have fun cooking. 🙂

  1. Pingback: Chinese Style Squid Stir-Fry - Omnivore's Cookbook - Celebrity Chefs TV | Celebrity Chefs TV

  2. Thomas

    5 stars
    I just gave this recipe a try, and it was actually my first time cooking squid. Because squid is so often overcooked at restaurants in the US, I was amazed at how easy it is to cook a great-tasting, tender squid. The flavors of the squid, the sauce, and the bok choy go so well together, too. Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe!

    1. Maggie Post author

      Thank you for cooking my recipe! 🙂
      When I was cooking squid the first time, I was surprised too that how easy it is to prepare a squid dish.
      Glad you enjoyed the dish and hope you have a lovely week ahead!

  3. Kyle Baron

    4 stars
    Friggin’ fantastic. I subbed a few things in there that I didn’t have – hoisin instead of soya, smoked paprika instead of chili, but it was still out of the park delicious. Good recipe!

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Kyle, I’m so glad to hear you like this recipe! Oh yeah, hoisin definitely works and it might be even better than soy sauce, because it brings out the great sea flavor. I’d love to try it too. Sounds so delicious 🙂