Monday, June 30, 2008

Sweet Sour Spicy Squid

- 400 gram squid, cleaned and scored
- 1 medium size tomato, cut to quarters
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
- 1 cm ginger, chopped finely
- 2 bird eyes red chilies, chopped finely
- 1 jalapenos, chopped roughly
- 1/2 small green peppers, cut to squares
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 kafir lime leaves, cut it to thin strip, confetti
- 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 cup of water
- dash of rice vinegar
- salt and pepper
- scallions, chopped to 4 cm pieces

- Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil/canola oil in the wok.
- Add garlic, ginger, red chilies, jalapenos and tomatoes. Fry until tomatoes get soft and mushy.
- Add in tomato paste and lime leaves. Stir. Add a dash of rice vinegar. Add sugar. Salt and pepper.
- Pour in the water. Let it boil. Taste, and add extra sugar, salt, pepper, if need be.
- Toss in squid. Cook no longer than THREE minutes (I let it cook only for 2 minutes), or it will get rubbery.
- Toss in the scallions. Stir.
- Serve, with quick squeeze of lemon juice on it.

This recipe started as a simple sweet sour version. But Vik tends to add some kind of sambal/ hot sauce onto anything. Hence, the chilies. The addition of lime leaves is an extra touch; I love the smell of lime leaves. It also gives a certain tang and freshness to the dish.

To accompany this dish tonight, I make a quick stir fry of tofu and beansprouts; toss with some salted fish. ;)

Quick Note:
It's important to cook squid no longer than three minutes. There is this 3/20 minutes rule when it comes to squid cooking. Either cook it (stew) longer than 20 minutes, or not more than 3 minutes, on high heat. Basically, squid is mostly muscle, so cooking it less than 3 minutes, provides enough heat to let it cook through, but not long enough for the muscle to get all stiff and chewy. However, stewing longer than 20 minutes lets the muscle to break down to silkier, softer texture.

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