Episode 62 – “Squid Pro Quo”

Posted: June 7, 2016 in Episodes by Season, Season 5
Tags: , , , , ,

If you’re like me, you haven’t had a lot of experience with eating squid. Sure, I’ve had fried calamari numerous times, but that’s about the extent of my squid exploration. Really, if you think about it, squid is not something you see regularly on restaurant menus. It also is not the easiest ingredient to find, but Ted finally found some for me at an Asian market.

Squid typically come frozen and in two sizes:  10/20 squid (which means you get 10-20 squid per pound) or smaller ones. Ideally, the 10/20 squid are the ones to get because they have a larger tube, but their tentacles are about the same length as those on the smaller ones. One Asian market we went to had a single frozen squid that weighed nearly two pounds; I opted not to get that one. You can thaw frozen squid in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours, or in a tub of cool water with a constant slow stream of cold water.

Squid Vicious

Alton’s squid recipe in this episode is for a squid stir-fry, and you will need 1/2 pound of thawed, prepared squid.

IMG_4743

My package of frozen squid.

To prepare your squid, reach into the tube of the squid on the head end of the squid. Pull the head/tentacle piece to separate it from the tube portion of the squid. Next, cut between the tentacles and the head, discarding the head. The tentacles can be cooked, though Alton really never showed them being used in this recipe; for this reason, I discarded the tentacles also. My squid came already cleaned, so I just had to prep the tubes of the squid.

IMG_4745

My squid were already cleaned, so they just had the tubes and tentacles.

For the tube pieces, pull the rudder fins off and discard them, as they are extremely chewy. Next, split the tubes open with a sharp knife and scrape the thin membrane off of the inside of the tube, holding your knife at an angle. Using a utility knife on the shallowest setting (I just used a knife), score the surface of each tube in a crosshatch pattern; this will keep the squid from curling when cooked.

Finally, cut each tube into four equal pieces.

IMG_4753

Each squid tube was then cut into four pieces.

In addition to the prepped squid, for this recipe you will need 2 t sesame oil, 1 t garlic, 1 t ginger, 2 dried chilies, 1/3 c diced onion, 1/3 c diced red bell pepper, and 1/4 c oyster mushroom strips. For a sauce, combine 1 t balsamic vinegar, 1 t cornstarch, and 1/2 c miso broth.

IMG_4755

Ingredients for Alton’s squid recipe: sesame oil, garlic, ginger, dried chilies, squid, onion, red bell pepper, and oyster mushrooms. Also, a combination of balsamic vinegar, cornstarch, and miso broth.

When ready to cook, heat your wok over high heat and add the sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilies to the wok and stir to cook. Next, add your prepared squid.

Follow this with the onion, bell pepper, and oyster mushrooms.

Finally, add the sauce to the wok and toss to coat everything, allowing the cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

IMG_4765

Finally, the liquid mixture was added.

As Alton said in the episode, squid cook on a bell curve – they are tender when cooked 1-3 minutes, tough when cooked for 5-6 minutes, and tender again once cooked for 10 minutes. As with any stir-fry, this recipe should come together extremely quickly, so your squid should only be in the pan for a couple minutes. Serve the squid mixture over rice.

IMG_4766

Alton’s squid stir-fry served over rice.

We weren’t sure what to expect from this recipe, but it was pretty underwhelming. Really, this was just a very under-seasoned recipe and it was very bland. Once we added some salt and soy sauce to this, it was significantly better, but I still would not make this one again. I am sort of bummed that I did not like this better because I wanted the recipe to showcase squid for me. Instead, it was just OK. Ted makes really good stir-fries, so maybe we’ll have to add squid to one of his. Still, I am happy to have gotten to play with a new-to-me ingredient!

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s