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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.