Recipes 05.05.16

Seasons by the Sea: The Skinny on Squid

Salt and Pepper Squid

This is Kylie Kwong’s recipe from her “Simple Chinese Cooking” book.

Serves four as a starter.

10 oz. squid

11/2 Tbsp. cornstarch

11/2 Tbsp. flour

5 tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. crushed Sichuan peppercorns

Vegetable oil for deep frying

4 small iceberg lettuce leaves, chilled

2 lemons, halved


Clean and score the squid.

In a large bowl combine flour and cornstarch with salt and Sichuan pepper. Add squid and toss to coat, shaking off any excess flour.

Heat oil in a hot wok (or deep cast iron skillet) until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the squid and deep fry for about one and a half minutes or until just tender and beginning to color. Remove with slotted spoon and drain well on paper towel. Repeat process with remaining squid.

Arrange chilled lettuce cups on a platter and top with squid. Serve immediately with lemon halves.


Squid and Grapefruit Salad 

This recipe from David Chang (and the editors of Lucky Peach magazine) is similar to Southeast Asian yum som o, thanh tra, or goi buoi tom thit. If you can find pomelos, those big grapefruit-like citrus fruits, then make it with those. You could also grill the squid over a hot fire until it’s charred and just cooked, then chop it up and toss in the vinaigrette.

Serves four as an appetizer, two as a main course.

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. sugar, plus more to taste

1 tsp. sambal oelek

1 garlic clove, minced

2 fresh red chilies, sliced

1 lime, halved

1 large pink grapefruit

8 oz. cleaned squid, bodies scored, tentacles quartered lengthwise 

1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves

Cooked rice, preferably sticky rice, for serving


Bring medium pot of water to boil.

Stir together fish sauce, sugar, sambal, chilies, and garlic in medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Cut the other lime half into wedges for serving.

Cut sections of grapefruit into a bowl and squeeze remaining juice into bowl with it.

Blanch squid in boiling water until it curls and turns opaque, about 30 seconds. Remove and transfer to bowl with fish sauce vinaigrette. Toss to coat and let cool slightly.

Once squid cools, drain grapefruit segments from juice and add to squid. Toss all together, then add a bit of grapefruit juice or sugar as needed to balance the sweet-sourness.

Tear the mint into the bowl with the squid and toss. 

Serve with rice and add the lime wedges.


Squid in Yellow Curry 

The canned or foil-packaged yellow curry available in Asian or Jamaican markets and specialty food stores is essential in this simple, satisfying dish. 

Serves four.

1 pound fresh squid, cleaned

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 small can yellow curry

1/2 cup water15

1 cup bean sprouts

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Slice the squid bodies open and lay them flat. With a sharp knife, lightly score the skin side of the pieces with crossing diagonal lines. Score the inside with a few parallel lines. Then cut into diamond shaped pieces, about 2 inches long. Chop the tentacles into bite sized pieces.

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and cook onions until translucent. Add potatoes and squid and stir to coat well with the oil. Add curry paste and water and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve over steamed rice.