Stirfried Squid with Chinese Celery

If you are interested in eating sustainable seafood, squid seems to be a fairly good alternative – Montere Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch lists several good alternatives as well as a best choice (US Atlantic longfin, trawl-caught) and no flashing-light “avoid this!” The trick with squid is to avoid overcooking at all costs, or you will end up with a plateful of rubber bands. Squid is usually available frozen and/or fresh at most seafood counters and more and more often appears at farmers’ markets that boast a fish vendor.

 If you live near an Asian market or know of an Asian produce vendor, look for Chinese celery (qincai)  – it’s a bit darker and thinner than our American celery and has a stronger taste.


  • 10 oz squid, cleaned
  • 2 stalks Chinese celery or 1 large stalk celery
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded or not, according to your heat tolerance
  • 3 slices fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T oil
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce


  1. Rinse the squid and pat dry. Cut off the tentacles and remove the hard “beak” in their center. Cut the body open so you can lay it flat, then score the flesh at 1/2 ” intervals with a sharp knife, first one way, then the other way just short of perpendicular – you should have a checkerboard pattern.
  2. Cut the celery into 1.5″ sections, then into 1/2″ wide sticks.
  3. Cut the scallions into 1.5″ lengths.
  4. Cut the ginger and chili pepper into thin strips.
  5. Heat the oil in the wok over high heat until it shimmers.
  6. Explode the scallions, chili pepper, ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  7. Add the squid and celery, reduce the heat to medium-high and stirfry 1-2 m, just until the squid is cooked through and the celery is crisp-tender.
  8. Add the soy sauce, adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve.

nutrition data:

As with most mollusks, squid is relatively high in cholesterol – if you try to watch your cholesterol intake, be sure to serve this with plenty of brown rice and some vegetable-centric side dishes. The recipe serves 4, and figures given are per serving.

  • Total calories 111, calories from fat 41
  • Total fat 5 g, saturated fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol 165 mg
  • Sodium 130 mg
  • Total carbs 5 g, dietary fiber 1 g, sugars 1 g
  • Protein 12 g

One Response

  1. Yum, I love squid. I don’t recall ever eating squid with celery before, but that’s not a vegetable my mother use commonly in her cooking. I should try it sometime.

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