The easiest recipe in Good Fish – you can do it!


If you’ve been waiting for the easiest recipe in Good Fish, today’s your day!  Yup, if you are a novice cook or just a little unsure about cooking fish and seafood, this is your gateway drug – I mean recipe…

As billed by Chef Becky Selengut, the Quick Squid with Red Chile Sauce and Herbs (pg 211) is for people who are convinced that healthy food can’t be made quickly and inexpensively.  This fresh, tasty dish might take all of 15 minutes to prepare and the hardest part will probably be making the platter look pretty!

This is another perfect summer dish that works as either a salad or a lettuce wrap – and I’m convinced it would make a killer spring roll as well.  And since no one wants to get stuck in the kitchen on a beautiful day while entertaining guests, this can be made in minutes and placed on the table for everyone to build their own bite. Sommelier April Pogue’s suggestion of a crisp dry Riesling (such as Navarro Vineyards 2008 Mendocino) is the ideal pairing for a lovely warm weather meal.

Squid is typically available year-round, either whole (tubes and tentacles) in the fresh fish section of your store or as frozen little tubes in bulk – I purchased mine at Central Market for $8.99/pound.  An interesting note from Becky about the frozen California squid supply is that an estimated 90 percent gets exported and ironically sold back to us as frozen calamari from China!  And yes, calamari is the same thing as squid; it’s simply the Italian word for squid. So now you know :)

Quick Squid With Red Chile Sauce and Herbs
Serves 4 for lunch or as an appetizer

  • 1 pound cleaned squid, tubes cut into rings and tentacles cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed and dried, whole leaves picked off the stem
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Thai or regular basil leaves
  • 1 carrot, shredded or cut into fine julienne, or 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup Thai sweet chile sauce, such as Mae Ploy brand
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil

In a large bowl, combine the squid with the fish sauce, lime juice, green onions, salt and pepper. Set aside while you heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. Arrange the lettuce, cilantro, Thai basil, carrot and bowl of chile sauce on a large platter.

Add the oil to the hot wok and, when oil is hot, add the squid. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes only, just until the squid ring edges curl up a bit and turn white. Transfer the squid to a bowl, leaving the liquid in the wok. Reduce the liquid down to a thick glaze (making sure to add any juices that accumulate at the bottom of the bowl the squid is resting in), about 5 minutes. Pour the glaze back over the squid and serve it on the platter with the accompaniments.

From “Good Fish” by Becky Selengut

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  1. Betsy Talbot says:

    I really, really wished I live with you for the entire length of this project. Just sayin’.

  2. Tara says:

    Schloop! Yum! I’m gonna try this.

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Copyright 2011 Karen Rosenzweig