Thursday, May 19, 2016

Stuffed Squid--my style (about 12 squid)

stuffed squid ready to be cooked
Many people think of fried calamari when it comes to squid. However, in my Teochew/Vietnamese family we eat squid prepared in a number of ways. One delicious treat is stuffed squid...a dish I rarely see on a restaurant menu. Some of my family and relatives typically use ground pork, vermicelli (or green bean thread), wood ear fungus, and season with salt, black pepper, sugar, chicken broth powder and sometimes MSG. Well, for me the fun part of cooking is simply creating something tasty using new or different ingredients. I headed to my local market with a vague idea of what to put in my stuffing. As usual when I arrived I noticed a few other ingredients that caught my wandering eyes. So, what would make my stuffing taste more amazing...hmmm...of course...pancetta and bone marrow--my favorites!! Before I continue blabbing on let me stop and put this out there, these stuffed squid are not for anyone who has a severe cholesterol problem. As with any food just eat in moderation...even if you believe you are healthy and you have not seen a health care provider for 50 years.

When I was at the local market this week I noticed the bone marrow pieces were about 6-7 inches long. I asked the person who was working in the area if she could cut these into "canoe style", a term I learned from my recent trip to Toronto. In the Toronto market the long marrow bones were cut lengthwise--resembling a canoe. When I saw this I thought what a great idea. This cut will make it easy to scoop out the marrow! Why is it that I have never seen this type of cut in New Hampshire? Well, as it turns out according to the staff at the meat department too many butchers have lost their fingers or a part of their hand making these dangerous cuts. So instead of inventing a special tool to cut the bones safely minus the person's digit(s) there is a law to prevent everyone from making these cuts. So, if you want your canoe cut then you should travel to Canada.

In the past I lightly fry my stuffed squid with a little oil. Recently I chatted with a cousin in Vietnam who informs me she steams them first before frying. Her reasoning is to ensure that the stuffing is cooked thoroughly. However, her brilliant idea gave me this thought of making them ahead--a day or two prior to serving. Once they have been steamed and cooled down completely, store these in a container in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat, let them warm up to room temperature before lightly frying them in a little oil. Although these are so yummy you may just have to eat them all in one day! Cam on Ngoc!

Check out my previous postings on Stuffed Squid with Tomato and Dulse Sauce and How to Clean Squid.

steamed stuffed squid
(I save the liquid and squid dripping from below to cook my pasta
--for extra flavor!)
Pre-Cooked Squid Stuffing


1 tsp olive oil
4 oz pancetta, finely diced
1/2 medium onion (about 1/2 C chopped)
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and finely minced
1/2 C chopped green scallions
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chicken broth powder (non-MSG)


1) Heat oil in a small pan over medium high heat.
2) Add pancetta and saute for about 2 minutes.
3) Add onion and garlic. Saute about a minute.
4) Add scallions and season with pepper, salt, sugar and chicken broth powder. Saute about a minute and turn off heat. Remove the contents from heat and let cool down completely before using.

lightly fried stuffed squid
lightly fried stuffed squid
Stuffed Squid--my style (about 12 squid)


1 beef marrow (about 6 1/2-inch long)
1 recipe of Pre-Cooked Squid Stuffing (see recipe above)
12 squid tentacles, chopped
1 lb ground veal
1 bundle (1.7 oz dried) vermicelli (or green bean thread), soaked in hot water for 15-20 minutes, squeezed out excess liquid and cut into 1 to 2-inch lengths
12 cleaned squid (ranging from 5-7 inches)
Toothpicks or skewers
1 Tbsp oil for frying


1) Boil the bone marrow with just enough water to cover the bone for about 15 minutes. Scoop out the marrow and reserve in a large container. Let cool completely.
2) Use your hand and gently mix the cooled cooked marrow, cooled Pre-Cooked Squid Stuffing, squid tentacles, ground veal, and vermicelli until well blended.
3) Stuff each squid with the mixture.
4) Use 1-2 toothpicks or skewers to hold the opening.
5) Steam the stuffed squid for about 10 minutes over gently boiling water with the lid covering about 95% of the pot.
6) Right before eating lightly fry the stuffed squid (you may remove the toothpicks or skewers at this point) with a little oil (about 1 tablespoon) until lightly golden brown.

*I used six 5-inch, four 5 1/2 inch, and two 7-inch squid. As a rule I tend to make extra stuffing for something such as this. I find that I can always make another dish out of the extras (if I have extra).

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