Stir-fried Chilli Squid

This is a simple way of turning the prosaic squid into a delectable treat – that is the work of the chilli and other ingredients in the red curry paste, and the garlic. To all those wonderful Thai flavours, add rice to make a complete and delicious meal.


  • 450 g (1 lb) squid, fresh or frozen
  • 1Β½ tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • handful fresh coriander leaves


The edible parts of the squid are the tentacles and the body. If it has not been cleaned by your fishmonger you can do it yourself. Pull the head and tentacles away from the body. Using a small sharp knife, split the body in half. Remove the transparent bony section. Wash the halves thoroughly under cold running water and then pull off and discard the skin. Cut the tentacles from the head, cutting just above the eye. (You may also have to remove the polyp, or beak, from the base of the ring of tentacles.) If you are using frozen squid make sure it is properly thawed before cooking it.

Cut the squid meat into 4 cm (1Β½ in) strips.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute until lightly browned. Then add the squid together with the curry paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Stir-fry the mixture for 3 minutes or until the squid is firm and white.

Turn the mixture onto a platter, garnish with the coriander leaves and serve at once.