Stirfried Squid with Sugar Snap Peas

Squid seems to be a fairly ocean-friendly choice as far as seafood goes (see Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch), and wonder of wonders, my 5-year-old seems to like it! I found some wild-caught squid at the farmers’ market, but you could also look for it at your favorite fish vendor, either fresh or frozen. Snap peas are making their appearance at the market as well, so here’s a recipe to take advantage of those. As with other recipes for stirfries, avoid crowding the wok – it’s better to cook in 2 batches than have the food steam rather than stirfry.

ingredients:

  • 8 oz cleaned squid
  • 2 T cooking oil
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 3 slices ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 1 handful sugar snap peas, ends and strings removed
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal

method:

  1. If you are using small squid, cut them into 1/4″ rings, leaving the tentacles together as one piece. If you are using large squid, separate the tentacles and cut them into 1″ pieces. Flatten out the cone, then holding your knife at approximately a 30 degree angle to the cutting board, make shallow diagonal cuts 1/2″ apart first one way, then the other, so you have a diamond pattern all over the squid. Then cut the squid into 1.5″ squares.
  2. Heat a wok over medium high heat, then add 1 T of the oil, just until it shimmers.
  3. Explode the scallion and ginger just until fragrant.
  4. Stirfry the squid just until cooked through – it will lose its translucent quality and start to look opaque.Add the salt and cooking wine and stirfry quickly to mix. Warning:  If you overcook it, it will be like eating rubber bands! Remove to a plate.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 T of oil just until it shimmers, then stirfry the snap peas and carrot slices until crisp tender. Add the squid back, stirfry quickly to combine.
  6. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

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.

ingredients:

  • 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

method:

  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