Being recently unemployed has certainly sparked some sort of motivation and creativity - which is good but also bad as I'm broke as hell.
Anyways, I was surfing the interwebz to kill time and was looking through food columns and the one thing that caught my attention was squid. I asked myself, 'How often do I cook and prepare squid?'
Answer was: 'Not at all'.
Initially, I really wanted to make squid ink sauce pasta (only if my local store sold it) and alternatively, if there weren't any squid ink, I wanted to make stuffed squid - it brings back so many memories of grandma steaming stuffed squid with minced pork! Yummy!
So, I headed down to my local fishmongers and see whether there was any squid ink. The lady told me that they did and I was ecstatic, up 'til the point I realised that it was sold, in a jar, for $36AUD =__= FML. Guess the dinner menu was stuffed squid!
The squid hood was so cheap! I bought 3 humongous ones (minimum I had to pay by card was $10AUD booo) for $10.80AUD!!
Then headed to the nearest Woolworths and screw you Hamilton branch! All they had was "premium organic minced beef" selling at $9.90AUD!! Y U NO SELL CHEAP MINCED BEEF?! OR EVEN MINCED PORK?! *sigh* Seriously, just cause I live in an upper-class suburb doesn't mean I like jacked-up prices (3 times the average price?!).
I did do a little bit of research prior to the commencement of this dish and there were quite a few variations and it was quite hard finding one similar to what my grandma used to make for me. I opted to play it by ear and see what I could do.
This is my rendition of a stuffed squid dish:
Squid hoods (cleaned)
Minced meat (mostly recommend pork or chicken mince, but I had to do mine with beef)
Chopped spring onion stalks
4 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp sesame oil
I bought the squid hoods cleaned and prepped, so less work for me!
1. I love spring onions and thought this would be a wonderful addition to the minced meat stuffing, so I chopped up 2 big stalks of it (add as much or as little to one's preference). Mix it with minced meat in a bowl.
2. Add soy sauce (I actually recommend more than what I typed above as it wasn't salty enough, but not too much!), Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil and white pepper (again, add as much or little; I put several shakings of it) with the minced meat and combine it all with a spoon until it looks like this:
3. Rinse the squid hoods and remove any impurities and then stuff the minced meat concoction into the hoods. Do not overfill as the squid will shrink during cooking. I left an inch space near the opening.
4. Use toothpicks to seal the opening of the squid. I, however, forgot to buy toothpicks, so I resorted to doing it a very shitty way (slitting little holes with a knife and using long strips of spring onion to tie it). This is to prevent the meat stuffing from falling out during the cooking process. Highly recommend using toothpicks. This is how mine looked like upclose:
6. If you have a bamboo steamer, great! Use it! Steam for 15-20 minutes until meat is cooked and serve! Alternatively, you can cut them up to show the meat inside!
Unfortunately, all 3 squids could not fit into my make-shift steamer, so I tried pan frying one of the stuffed squids. I also didn't think that it would cook all the way through, especially and admittedly, did put a lot of the stuffing into the squids. The steamed ones looked alright but would have done better in a proper steamer.
Ultimately, out of frustration, I popped all 3 (steamed and pan-fried) into the oven at 150 Celsius grill for about 15 minutes and constantly checking the state of it. I also did, at one point, turned the oven down to 100 Celsius, for 5 minutes and turned it back up to 150 before bringing them out of the oven. I seriously consider this a fail in my books.
THE END RESULT:
To be honest, I thought I flunked this recipe completely but the oven did save this dish. Taste-wise, it could have been saltier with more added soy sauce or salt. The meat turned out fine (though this picture makes the meat looks pink, I assure you that it was well-done).
I ate this with ABC Chilli sauce or for all Sriracha fans, that would be a perfect dipping sauce too!
Definitely a beta version and hopefully do an upgrade on it later on!