Thai-inspired Steamed Sweet, Sour & Spicy Squid!

I have been unable to upkeep my blog as often as I would like to but I have been happily busy looking after TJ and making dinner with Valerie these days. Nothing beats coming home to hot meals! Ryan always tell Valerie, “I’m so happy at the thought of coming home after work because I know there’ll be delicious home-cooked food and my loving family waiting for me.”

This is the second time we cooked this dish so you know it has been tried and passed our taste test not once but twice!

Thai-style steamed squid

Sweet, sour, spicy Thai-inspired squid!

Here’s what you’ll need:
4 medium-sized Squid (approx. 500g or more), head intact and preferably with egg sac.

3 large stalk chopped Cilantro, use the stalks and roots, too. Reserve some of the leafy ones for garnishing later.

Chilli Padi, a mixture of red and green – seeds removed and chopped. (Amount to your liking. We used 4-5 each and that’s very very spicy).

2 teaspoons grated Ginger.

1 tablespoon chopped Garlic (more if you like, my girl used 3 tablespoons and that’s way too much by any standards, lol…).

2-3 stalks chopped Lemongrass, use the bottom whitish fat parts only.

4 Kaffir Lime Leaves, tear a bit into the leaves to release essential oils.

1-2 whole Lemons or Big Limes, juice and discard seeds (depending on how sour you like, we used 2).

2 teaspoons Thai Fish Sauce, or to taste.

Sugar, to taste.

Water, enough to balance the sweet, savoury and sour taste.

Method:
Mix everything except squid, cilantro and lemon juice into a small pot and add the water. Heat over medium heat until the aromatics start wafting through the air. Add lemon juice and simmer on lower heat until the excess liquid evaporates and the sauce becomes more of a concentrate (see photo below; keep in mind that the water from steaming will thin the sauce later). Do a taste test and season with fish sauce and sugar if necessary. Stir in the cilantro last.

Let the sauce cool completely before pouring over the squid, so that it does not cook the squid.

When cooled, place squid into a shallow dish and pour sauce over.

Place plated squid into the steaming basket and steam for 10 minutes or until cooked.

Garnish with the reserved cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice.

Thai-style Steam Squid-0942-

Very fresh, firm-flesh and preferably with egg sac.
Remove the head from the body and cut off the sharp beak from head portion.
Remove the spinal cartilage and gently rinse the tube under running water keeping egg intact.
Remove the outer skin if desired and slice the squid into thick rings.

Thai-style Steam Squid-0963-

Place squid on a shallow dish and pour sauce over.
See photo and instruction below.

Thai-style Steam Squid-0965-0965

Mix everything except squid, cilantro and lemon juice into a small pot and add the water.
Heat over medium heat until the aromatics start wafting through the air.
Add lemon juice and simmer on lower heat until the excess liquid evaporates and the sauce becomes more of a concentrate (keep in mind that the water from steaming will thin the sauce later).
Do a taste test and season with fish sauce and sugar if necessary. Stir in the cilantro last.

Thai-style Steamed Squid-0991-

Let the sauce cool completely before pouring over the squid, so that it does not cook the squid.
Steam over very high heat for 10 minutes (plus/minus, depending on the size of the squid).
Update: After cooking several times, I realised that it is better to steam the squid and cook the sauce separately then transfer the squid into a platter bowl (discarding squid liquid from steaming) and pour the sauce over them. This way, the soup is clearer and has more distinct umami!

Thai-style Steam Squid-1000-

Voila!
Squid is cooked when the flesh turned opaque and the tentacles curl.

From the recipe, you can deduced that Valerie like strong taste in her food. But you can always fine tune to your liking. You may use this sauce to steam a whole fish or even mussels!

Update 2017: After cooking several times, I realised that it is better to steam the squid and cook the sauce separately then transfer the squid into a platter bowl (discarding squid liquid from steaming) and pour the sauce over them. This way, the soup is clearer and has more distinct umami! I have posted a better recipe for this dish (cooking with fish). Take a look here:

Happy cooking, eating and bonding 🙂

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