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Squid Recipes Chinese: Delicious Dishes to Try at Home

If you're a seafood lover, you've probably tried squid at some point. Squid is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, and there are many different ways to prepare it. In this article, we'll explore some of the most delicious Chinese squid recipes and give you some tips on selecting and preparing squid.

A chef stir-fries squid with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce in a sizzling wok, surrounded by colorful Chinese ingredients and spices

Before we dive into the recipes, let's talk about selecting and preparing squid. When buying squid, look for fresh, firm squid with bright eyes and a sweet smell. If you're buying frozen squid, make sure it's been properly thawed before cooking. To clean squid, remove the head, tentacles, and innards, and rinse the body under cold water. You can then slice the body into rings or leave it whole, depending on the recipe.

Now, let's move on to the recipes. From spicy squid stir fry to classic salt and pepper squid, there are plenty of Chinese squid dishes to choose from. Whether you're a fan of bold, spicy flavours or prefer something milder, there's a squid recipe out there for you. So, let's get cooking!

Key Takeaways

  • Squid is a versatile and delicious ingredient in Chinese cuisine.
  • When selecting and preparing squid, look for fresh, firm squid and make sure to clean it properly.
  • From spicy squid stir fry to classic salt and pepper squid, there are many different Chinese squid recipes to choose from.

Selecting and Preparing Squid

A chef selects fresh squid from a market stall, then meticulously cleans and prepares them for a traditional Chinese recipe

Choosing Fresh Squid

When selecting fresh squid, look for ones that are firm to the touch and have a sweet, ocean-like smell. Avoid squid that has a fishy smell or is slimy. If you can, buy whole squid instead of pre-cut pieces, as it will be easier to tell if it is fresh.

Cleaning and Cutting Techniques

Cleaning and preparing squid may seem daunting, but it's actually quite simple. Here's how to do it:

  1. Rinse the squid under cold running water to remove any sand or debris.
  2. Separate the tentacles from the body by gently pulling them apart.
  3. Remove the beak, which is a small hard piece in the center of the tentacles.
  4. Remove the quill, which is a thin, clear, plastic-like piece that runs the length of the body.
  5. Cut off the head just above the eyes.
  6. Remove the innards, which are located inside the body.
  7. Rinse the squid again and pat it dry with paper towels.

If you're using frozen squid, make sure to thaw it completely before using it. To do this, place the squid in the refrigerator overnight or run it under cold water until it is no longer frozen.

Now that you know how to select and prepare fresh squid, you're ready to start cooking delicious Chinese-style squid recipes.

Classic Chinese Squid Dishes

A table set with various classic Chinese squid dishes, including stir-fried squid, salt and pepper squid, and squid in black bean sauce

If you're looking for classic Chinese squid dishes, you're in luck! Here are three delicious options that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Salt and Pepper Squid

One of the most popular Chinese squid dishes is salt and pepper squid. This dish is simple yet flavorful, and it's perfect as an appetizer or main course. To make it, you'll need squid, salt, pepper, cornstarch, and vegetable oil.

First, you'll need to clean and prepare the squid. Cut it into rings or strips, and then coat it in a mixture of cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Heat up some vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan, and then fry the squid until it's golden and crispy. Serve it with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Kung Pao Squid

Kung Pao squid is another classic Chinese squid dish that's sure to impress. This spicy stir-fry combines tender squid with peanuts, green peppers, and chili peppers, all tossed in a savory sauce.

To make Kung Pao squid, you'll need squid, peanuts, green peppers, chili peppers, garlic, ginger, light soy sauce, shaoxing wine, sesame oil, peanut oil, vinegar, starch, and sugar. Start by stir-frying the squid in peanut oil until it's cooked through, and then set it aside. In the same wok, stir-fry the garlic, ginger, chili peppers, and green peppers until they're fragrant. Then, add in the peanuts, sauce, and starch, and cook until the sauce thickens. Finally, add the squid back in and stir until everything is coated in the sauce.

Squid Stir-Fry

Squid stir-fry is a classic Chinese dish that's quick and easy to make. It's perfect for a weeknight dinner, and it's a great way to use up any leftover vegetables you have in the fridge.

To make squid stir-fry, you'll need squid, red onion, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, sesame oil, peanut oil, and your choice of vegetables. Start by stir-frying the squid in peanut oil until it's cooked through, and then set it aside. In the same wok, stir-fry the vegetables, garlic, ginger, and scallions until they're tender. Then, add in the sauce and stir until everything is well coated. Finally, add the squid back in and stir until it's heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef preparing Chinese squid recipes while answering frequently asked questions

What's the secret to making a stir-fry squid that's authentically Chinese?

The secret to making a stir-fry squid that's authentically Chinese is to use fresh squid that is firm to the touch and brightly coloured. You'll also need essential ingredients such as garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and sesame oil. Make sure you score the squid tubes to create grooves that grab onto the sauce better. Briefly marinate the squid with Shaoxing wine to eliminate any fishy taste.

How can I prepare baby squid with a Chinese twist?

Preparing baby squid with a Chinese twist is easy and quick to do. Clean the baby squid properly and marinate it with soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, and garlic. You can also add some chopped green onions, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes for extra flavour. Pan-fry the baby squid until it's golden brown and tender.

What spices do I need for a traditional Chinese spicy squid dish?

For a traditional Chinese spicy squid dish, you'll need spices such as Sichuan peppercorns, dried red chillies, ginger, garlic, and green onions. You can also add soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and sesame oil. Make sure you coat the squid evenly with the spices and cook it until it's tender and fragrant.

Could you suggest a Chinese-style squid recipe that's easy and quick to make?

One easy and quick Chinese-style squid recipe is the Chinese Steamed Squid. Clean the squid properly and marinate it with soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, and garlic. You can also add some chopped green onions, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes for extra flavour. Steam the squid for about 5 minutes until it's cooked through. Serve it with steamed rice and vegetables.

What are some tips for cooking squid to keep it tender and delicious?

To keep squid tender and delicious, make sure you don't overcook it. Squid should be cooked for only a few minutes, either by boiling, pan-frying, or grilling. You can also tenderize the squid by marinating it in milk for about 30 minutes before cooking. Another tip is to score the squid tubes to create grooves that grab onto the sauce better.

Why is marinating squid in milk recommended, and how does it affect the taste?

Marinating squid in milk is recommended because it helps to tenderize the meat and remove any fishy taste. The lactic acid in the milk breaks down the protein in the squid, making it more tender. It also helps to neutralize any unpleasant odours and flavours. After marinating the squid in milk, rinse it thoroughly before cooking.