I often reminisce about the veritable plethora of dining options when I worked in Chelsea in London. Global, varied and delicious was the choice of food on my doorstep. One of my favourites was an outdoor noodlebar. Apparently translated into English as ‘Happy Buddha’, the Phat Phuc noodle bar always bought a smile to my face. The food was anything but fatty. Vietnamese noodle soups, salads and spring rolls. Streetfood long before the current fad for streetfood. Food made to order, made from scratch that certainly would not leave one looking like a Phat….happy Buddha.
Now this stuffed squid recipe is a nod in the direction of the fresh, herby flavours I often enjoyed. Loaded with fragrant herbs, the squid are stuffed with prawns that have been fried off in chilli, lemongrass, ginger and garlic. Squid cooks quickly so you would have this put meal together in half an hour.
Reserve some of the cooked prawns to scatter over the cooked squid tubes before ladling some coconut cooking juices over the seafood, and serve with cooked rice. If you want to be healthy try some wild rice – we did – but I suspect some jasmine rice, cooked with a bit of coconut milk would provide a more complementary side.
- 1 Yellow Pepper chopped into small pieces
- 1 stalk lemongrass chopped finely
- 1cm cube of ginger chopped into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic chopped finely
- 1 large handful of coriander chopped
- 1 large handful of mint chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed chilli
- 1 Spring onion finely chopped
- 200g raw king prawns
- 12-15 squid sacs (you can ask the fishmonger to remove the tentacles and other bits) - these need to be rinsed in water then dried on paper towels)
- 12-15 toothpicks
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 100ml coconut cream
- Heat the oil and fry the pepper, spring onions, garlic, ginger, HALF of the herbs and all of the chilli.
- Add the prawns to the pan and cook until they just turn pink.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 180DegC
- Once cool, chop the prawns as finely as you can and then use a teaspoon to stuff this mixture into the squid sacs, filling them up to 1cm from the edge then using a toothpick to secure them.
- If you want you can set aside a few prawns to use as a garnish.
- Sear them till brown in the frying pan then transfer to a heat resistant dish and place in oven to ensure the squid are cooked right through and on all surfaces (takes between 5 and 10 minutes)
- In the meantime, add the coconut cream to the pan, stir in the remaining herbs and the unchopped prawns. The cream will soak up the flavours of the seafood and other ingredients. Warm this until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.
- Once the squid are cooked through, pour the sauce over the squid.
- Serve with rice or salad.
- Allow 3 to 4 squid per person.