Singapore-Style Squid

This is a combination stir-fry and braise dish. The squid becomes more tender the longer you braise it. Make sure you don’t burn the garlic as it can get quite bitter — I know I usually like to do it the other way round, but this dish is cooked in one go, so we add the garlic with the ginger and squid.

Ingredients

  • 350 g (12 oz) squid, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 2 small wild green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 small Spanish onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), thickly sliced

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon kecap manis
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar

Method

To prepare the squid, cut off the tentacles and cut down the centre of the squid so it will open out flat. Score the inside with a crisscross pattern, then cut the squid into large squares. Cut the tentacles into 4 cm ( inch) lengths.

To make the sauce, mix together the kecap manis, soy sauce, Chinkiang, sea salt and sugar in a small bowl.

Heat a wok until almost smoking. Add the peanut oil and, when hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the shrimp paste, chillies, onion and capsicum and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the squid and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, or until it just begins to curl, then add the sauce and bring to the boil. Cover the wok, reduce the heat to low and braise the squid for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the squid and vegetables to a serving plate. Increase the heat under the wok and reduce the sauce until it thickens slightly. Spoon the sauce over the squid to serve.