Learn . Laugh . Eat

Twice-Cooked Squid

Prep: 1 Hr

Cook: 10 Min

In many parts of China and Hong Kong, cuttlefish are actually more popular than squid and, as cuttlefish have much thicker meat than squid, the double-cooking process detailed here is essential. I find that large squid also benefit from this prepoaching – it softens the squid significantly, allowing the pieces to take in more flavour when stir-fried in the savoury sauce.

  • 500g squid, cleaned and quills removed (get your fishmonger to do this for you)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon preserved black beans
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • a small knob of ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 spring onions, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large fresh green chillies
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

The Sauce

  • ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

PREPARATION

  • Wash the squid tubes and slice them open to lay them flat. Run the tip of your knife along the squid pieces in a diagonal criss-cross pattern (this will help the squid curl up nicely when cooking).
  • Add the prepared squid to a pan of boiling water, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes. Remove the squid from the water with a slotted spoon and cool under cold running water, then drain and place in a bowl with the cornflour and mix together well.
  • Give the black beans a quick rinse under cold water, then tip them into a small bowl. Finely chop the garlic and ginger and add them to the black beans with a pinch of salt. Lightly crush the ingredients together with the back of a teaspoon.
  • Cut the spring onions into rough chunks and the red onion and green chillies into 1cm dice. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place the diced red onion at 12 o’clock, then arrange the spring onions, garlic and bean mixture, chillies, squid and sauce bowl clockwise around the plate.

COOKING

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking-hot, then add the onion and cook for 1 minute until slightly softened.
  • Add the spring onions and bean mixture and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds, then add the green chillies and fry for 30 seconds more, maintaining a high heat all the time. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and bring it back to a high heat. Once smoking-hot, add the squid and flash-fry for 30 seconds to sear the squid all over. Return the vegetables to the wok, pour over the sauce and bring to a vigorous boil. Cook for 1–2 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly and is just coating the squid and vegetables.
  • Serve with freshly sliced spring onion to garnish.

  • 500g squid, cleaned and quills removed (get your fishmonger to do this for you)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon preserved black beans
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • a small knob of ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 spring onions, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large fresh green chillies
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

The Sauce

  • ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

PREPARATION

  • Wash the squid tubes and slice them open to lay them flat. Run the tip of your knife along the squid pieces in a diagonal criss-cross pattern (this will help the squid curl up nicely when cooking).
  • Add the prepared squid to a pan of boiling water, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes. Remove the squid from the water with a slotted spoon and cool under cold running water, then drain and place in a bowl with the cornflour and mix together well.
  • Give the black beans a quick rinse under cold water, then tip them into a small bowl. Finely chop the garlic and ginger and add them to the black beans with a pinch of salt. Lightly crush the ingredients together with the back of a teaspoon.
  • Cut the spring onions into rough chunks and the red onion and green chillies into 1cm dice. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place the diced red onion at 12 o’clock, then arrange the spring onions, garlic and bean mixture, chillies, squid and sauce bowl clockwise around the plate.

COOKING

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking-hot, then add the onion and cook for 1 minute until slightly softened.
  • Add the spring onions and bean mixture and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds, then add the green chillies and fry for 30 seconds more, maintaining a high heat all the time. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and bring it back to a high heat. Once smoking-hot, add the squid and flash-fry for 30 seconds to sear the squid all over. Return the vegetables to the wok, pour over the sauce and bring to a vigorous boil. Cook for 1–2 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly and is just coating the squid and vegetables.
  • Serve with freshly sliced spring onion to garnish.
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