Last Sunday, we spent the day at home. We made a quick and easy squid and vegetable stir-fry for lunch and had it with rice and my homemade kimchi that I sell over at Shalini Eats.
I got the squid whole and uncleaned from Fresh to Home because it was cheaper. Seafood like squid and shrimp can be pricey here in Delhi and I thought it would be a nice challenge to learn to clean and gut it myself. But I was fluttering about in the kitchen last Sunday, so Anugrah watched this YouTube video on how to do it, then showed me how 😀 Here he is doing his thing:
I am very proud of this guy who didn’t use to like seafood and is still somewhat iffy about it if it smells too fishy or whatever. I think that if you’re gonna eat meat and seafood, it’s better if you are able to do these kinds of things.
So, let’s talk about stir-fries. Stir-fries are awesome! They’re so easy, quick and can be really healthy, plus they taste awesome with plain steamed rice. You can load it up with whatever veggies you have and lightly cook them so they are still firm and they maintain their flavor. Here I put a lot of veggies, and they’re chopped large so I didn’t even have to spend too much time on the prep.
This dish is inspired by the Korean dish ojingeo-bokkeum. It has a sweet-spicy flavor, which comes from the Korean chili paste (gochujang) or sriracha and a little sugar. In India, you can order Korean chili paste from Amazon. If you’re in Delhi, you can probably get it from INA Market. Be wary and check the label though, Chinese copies seem to be more common than the Korean ones, and while they may be (slightly) cheaper, they don’t taste nearly as good. Sriracha is available on Amazon and can also be found in big grocery stores. I like the original Huy Fong brand. If you like Asian food (like me!), even just one of these condiments is a great addition to your cupboard. They are versatile and really up the flavor of many dishes.
I first had a dish like this with Anugrah a while back, when he visited me in Manila for the second time. It was in a Korean restaurant in Makati called Jumong. Not the best Korean restaurant, to be honest, but they are open 24 hours, have cold beer and pleasant outdoor seating – which Anugrah liked even with Manila’s intense humidity 😀 Thinking about it now, I can’t believe those difficult, bittersweet (and expensive!) days of being in a long distance relationship and meeting once every two years are over. Anugrah doesn’t miss them at all, but sometimes I miss the romance of my boyfriend flying in from another country to see me 😛 It was rough though (and still is sometimes) but we have transitioned to marriage and living together rather well I think, given our circumstances.
Now I hope I have piqued your interest in this dish! Lol 😛 To make this dish vegan/vegetarian, just leave the squid out, or replace it with extra firm tofu or paneer (cubed cottage cheese), which is a popular substitute in vegetarian Asian-style dishes in India. I’ve done it with tofu and it’s quite delicious. Try this recipe out with and tell me how you like it!
Spicy Squid and Vegetable Stir-Fry (with vegetarian option)
- 1 tbsp canola oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
- 6 medium garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup green onion, chopped (lighter parts preferred)
- 1/4 tsp ginger, grated
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 2 medium bell pepper, sliced
- 250 grams squid, already cleaned, sliced into rings (can sub with around 150 grams pan-fried tofu or paneer)
- dash white or black pepper
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (I use Kikkoman)
- 2 tbsp Korean chili paste (gochujang) or sriracha
- 2 tsp brown sugar (adjust if you like it more/less sweet)
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or cornflour
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- sesame seeds toasted
- green onion, chopped
For the sauce and the thickener
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce and the thickener in two separate bowls and set aside.
- Over medium flame, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan.
- Once hot, put in minced garlic, chopped green onion and grated ginger. Saute for around 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced onions, carrots and bell pepper. Mix well and saute for 7 to 8 minutes or until onions soften.
- Add the squid, mix well. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the sauce and mix well, around 2 minutes.
- Add the thickener and mix well. Cook for another two minutes.
- Garnish with toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and green onion. Serve with plain rice.