Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Squid with Garlic Sauce

Tonight I learned how to clean squid. And I think I also inadvertently learned a little more about gastropod anatomy.

I went to Uwajimaya and bought 2 lbs of whole ika squid, and carried it home, not thinking that it might be a challenge to take them from the whole state to an edible one. Turns out the process is a bit involved, and I still have a lot to learn. You grab the head and twist and pull until it detaches from the body, and pulls all the internal organs out with it. Then you cut off the legs, just below the eyes, and make sure the beak didn't come with them. After discarding what is basically two eyeballs, a beak, and gonads, You then work on the body, which for me involved splitting it open to make sure there wasn't any more innards, and then scraping off the outer skin and pulling off the fins. A quick rinse, and they were ready to go. The one thing I'm not clear on is if the fins are good eatin' or not. They seemed comparable in texture/density to the rest of the body, but they tended to tear off when I was taking the outer skin off (and frankly, tearing them off took most of the skin with it, making the process much easier). I hope I didn't throw out a bunch of good squid meat, but in the end we had more than enough.

I followed the recipe, but felt like the simmering wasn't adequate to cook the sauce down much at all, which would've resulted in a soupier dish than I had planned, so I left the sauce in the pan when serving, and cranked up the heat to try to get it to reduce a bit. Next time, I think I might cut back on the amount of broth. I also added more chili pepper than called for in the original recipe, and added some Sriracha to the sauce before serving, to give it a bit more heat.

Squid with Garlic Sauce
1 1/2 lbs fresh squid, cleaned and cut into 1 inch wide strips
5 cloves garlic, chopped
6 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
12 oz Napa cabbage, cut into 2 x 3/4 inch pieces
4 green onions (white part only), cut inot 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tspn constarch
1 cup broth
2 Tbspn sherry
1 tspn sesame seeds
1 tspn chili pepper flakes

Combine cornstarch and broth in a small bowl, then add remaining sauce ingredients, mix well, and set aside. Lightly coat a wok with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until it begins to brown. Add the squid and cook until it turns white (2-3 mins). Transfer to a bowl. Increase heat to high, add mushrooms and cabbage, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Return squid to the pan along with the sauce and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until squid is soft (5-6 mins). Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame oil and green onion pieces.

(Recipe courtesy of Secrets of Fat-free Chinese Cooking.)

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