Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chili Squid with Vegetables

Squid?  Eewwwww!!  Well, then you don't know what your missing.  Squid actually has a rather mild taste, but I'm willing to bet it's the concept of a slippery, squiggling, tentacle-ly invertebrate that gets people.  And, squid sounds expensive.  Well, I guess it could be depending on where you live.  I picked up a bunch of baby squid (already cleaned and ready to go) for only $3.80 a pound.  That's comparable to chicken, even.  I noticed that squid that weren't cleaned yet were $3.00 a pound, but seriously, I'll pay the extra 80 cents just so I don't have to deal with the skin, eyes, beak, and guts (although even cleaned squid might have some bits of gut left behind).  It cuts down on the preparation time by a lot, especially when you don't have much time on your hands.  If your squid does have some guts left in, yes, it's slippery and gross, but man-up and just pull it out!!  Then make sure you rinse everything out really well and peal as much excess membrane off as possible.  You also might need to take out the clear "bone" in the body/head/hood (whichever you prefer).  Trust me, though, it's all worth it because perfectly cleaned squid is delicious.

Squid delicious and cheaper than you would expect.
Chili Squid with Vegetables

1 baby squid, cleaned
3 asparagus spears
small handful of broccoli
1 spring onion
2 leaves boc choy
vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce (with or without garlic)
2 tsp. fish sauce
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
yasai fumi fuikake (optional, to serve - rice seasoning)

Snap off the woody ends from the asparagus.  Simmer water in a large frying pan, then blanch the asparagus and broccoli until just softened.  Remove the vegetables from the water and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.  (You certainly don't have to do all this work for 3 spears of asparagus.  I actually blanched an entire bunch of asparagus at once, freezing all the spears that I didn't use for this recipe.)

After you have thoroughly cleaned the squid, insert a knife into the hood and slice it open lengthwise, so that you can spread it out onto a cutting surface flat.  Score the squid in a checkerboard pattern, but be careful not to cut all the way through.  Then, cut the squid hood into six roughly equal-sized pieces.  Remove the long tentacles from the ball of tentacles, then cut the remaining ball of short tentacles in half.

Cut the spring onion into 1 in. lengths and the boc choy into roughly 1 in. square pieces.

Heat a little oil in the same pan you used for blanching (after you've dumped the water out), then add the squid.  Cook until the scored pieces curl up into tubes and begin to turn more opaque white.  Add the vegetables and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.

Mix the chili sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes.  Add this sauce to the pan and stir to evenly coat the squid and vegetables.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until everything is heated and sufficiently cooked.

Sprinkle with yasai fumi fuikake and serve.

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