This Stir-Fried Squid with Black Bean Sauce is incredibly rich and tasty.
This recipe was developed by Chef Danny Chan, who taught it to Grace Young, the author of Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge, which is the book we Wok Wednesdays devotees have been stir frying our way through since 2012 (I joined in 2013).
This is the third Danny Chan recipe I have tried from the book, and I love his exacting way he counts his snow peas. This recipe calls for 12, while the Cantonese Pork with Chinese Broccoli called for eight. I obediently counted out 12.
With such exacting instructions, I'm pretty sure Danny would be disappointed in me for not following his instructions on slicing the body of the squid. This is because I am still intimidated by the thought of cleaning whole squid. Instead, I cheated and bought tentacles and rings from my local fish restaurant.
Next time I'm going to get all brave and stuff, and follow this video from Mario Batali on how to prep squid. Really, I'm going to do it.
In typical Danny Chan fashion, there are 18 ingredients to this dish. In typical Karen's Kitchen Stories fashion, the only ingredients I had to buy were the squid, red bell peppers, and the snow peas. Since I built up my Asian ingredient pantry (which required buying an extra fridge), I get to feel really smug on Wok Wednesdays. Sometimes being an ingredient hoarder actually pays off.
Here are the rest of the ingredients, minus the squid, garlic, scallions, onions, ginger, bell peppers, salt, pepper, peanut oil, cornstarch, and the 12 snow peas. You get the picture.
With all of these ingredients, this stir fry was really easy to make! I guess it's because I've been practicing for for three years.
To see all of the ingredients with amazing mis en place, visit my friend Cathy's post. Plus, you will get to read about how our friend Bob got put on Wok Wednesdays probation.
The squid in this dish is blanched in boiling water for just 10 seconds and drained. The reason for blanching is to par cook the squid and to prevent the squid from getting tough and rubbery from spending too much time in the wok.
While the recipe does not specify the type of onion to use, I used red onions. The combination of all of the various sauces and condiments, the fermented black beans (stinky until you cook them, and then they are so tasty!), garlic, and ginger produced an amazingly rich and flavorful dish. The squid remained tender, and what stood out was the killer sauce.
We've all agreed that we will not rewrite the recipe. You can find it on page 170 of the book. If you want to try your hand at stir frying squid, and want a comprehensive book on Asian ingredients (with pictures that you can take to your local Asian grocery and just point to!), get this book. The recipes are delicious, and will change how you think about Chinese food.