Sunday, October 26, 2008

Squid on the Dinner Table

A few weeks ago, I read a San Francisco Chronicle article touting squid as a healthy and cheap alternative to fish. I never thought of cooking squid at home, although it is an item I love to order at restaurants. When I travel to places near the sea (like Barcelona), I love to order squid or calamari.

Many of the Americanized recipes feature squid in a salad or risotto. But when I thought about making squid this week, I recalled a stir-fry dish my mom would order at the Chinese restaurant. We’d often order pickled mustard greens with beef (a dish I replicated in my own recipe here), but sometimes my mom would grow tired of the dish even though us kids loved it, so she’ll end up asking the chef to make the dish with squid.

The key to cooking with squid, which is what I learned in that Chronicle article, is that you have to cook it fast (just 3 minutes) when you’re grilling it or cook it very long (more than an hour) if you’re stewing it. Since this was a stir-fry, I went the fast route. So you can imagine that this was a super fast dish to make for a weekday dinner, especially since the pickled mustard greens are already preserved and you don’t need to cook them very long or else you’ll lose the crunch. The squid turned out really nice and soft (I got them already cleaned from the fish counter at Piedmont Grocers near my home) but I have to say the package of pickled greens I bought were a bit salty. So it makes a difference which brand you try. I’m definitely going to cook squid again because it’s a quick and healthy meal to make. Enjoy!

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