Squid is one of those ingredients that is popular in most of the world. In North America you have your deep fried calamari rings, the Mediterranean does shallow fried rings or whole baby squid, and in Asia you have a ton of different stir fry methods. This stir fry chili squid is a recreation of a dish I had in Singapore at one of the many hawker centers.
If you thought squid was intimidating then you are a bit mistaken. In fact it’s one of the easiest meats to cook, especially if you buy the “tubes” separate from the head and tentacles. Just take your tube and slice it into rings. It’s that simple.
I do not cook the very tip as there is a bone in there. Some people remove the bone and will still cook the tip, but I find the fact that it is no longer a ring to mess up the appearance of the dish, so I just give the scraps to my cat. Take your rings and place them in a colander so any remaining liquid washes away.
Stir Fry Chili Squid Marinade
The sauce for this stir fry chili squid is quite simple, and easy changeable if you need to sub some ingredients. As I was trying to recreate a dish I had in Singapore the ingredients I chose were primarily Chinese, but Singaporean cuisine is an amalgamation of many different Asian cuisines so feel free to sub in Korean gochujjang for the Pearl River chili sauce I used here.
Other ingredients are soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger. I also add a tablespoon of white sugar to balance the spice, but you could leave that out. That’s it, a pretty simple stir fry sauce for the squid rings. Not to mention I only let the rings marinade for about 5 minutes (the really don’t need much time).
How To Cook The Squid
The trick with cooking squid is you either want to cook it really, really quick…or really, really long. Anything in between will give you little pieces of rubber. As this is a stir fry I bet you know which direction we are going for this recipe.
In a pan or wok add a bit of neutral oil and turn the heat on max. When the oil is ready (stick the tip of a wooden spoon in…if it bubbles then it’s hot enough) pour in the squid and all the stir fry liquid. Immediately you’ll see the meat tighten up. I stir the pan around for about 2 minutes (you can toss if you are using a wok) and then take everything off the heat. Don’t cook too long, two minutes is the perfect amount in my opinion.
I mix the contents of the pan with a generous amount of sesame seeds and tip the pan onto a large serving dish. Then I top with some thinly sliced shallot and a spoonful of chili sauce for that pop of color.
Stir Fry Chili Squid
- Pan / Wok
- 300 grams Squid just the tubes, cut into rings
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 2 cm Ginger grated or microplaned
- 4 cloves Garlic smashed and rough chopped
- 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Sugar granulated. optional (to mellow out the heat)
- 2 tbsp Chili Sauce brand or style preference is up to you. I like something with a good amount of heat to it, but you can go mild if you prefer.
- 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 1 Shallot optional, garnish
- In a bowl whisk together the soy sauces, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and chili sauce. Add sugar if you want, I like it for the added richness, but it's entirely optional.
- Add the squid rings to the stir fry sauce and mix everything up. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Add some neutral oil to a pan or wok and turn the heat to max. When it is extremely hot, tip all the contents of the bowl right into the pan (it will splatter a bit so wear an apron). Stir or toss the pan around for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the sesame seeds and tip pan contents into a large serving dish.
- Garnish with some more sesame seeds, thinly sliced shallot, and more chili sauce.