I have to say this one is very much a joint effort with Stella as she had previously done something similar a few weeks ago. In fact it’s the first time I’ve ever tackled a dish like this as I always thought it would be too much like hard work but as long as you get the fishmonger to clean and prep the squid it is not difficult and definitely worth the effort. This is truly a delicious dish for anyone that loves a bit of surf and turf. It is packed full of intense Asian flavours which are truly mouthwatering.
It is so versatile that it could be made with many different types of filling which I am sure I will be attempting in the future, maybe a Spanish theme next. I served it with some simple stirfried vegetables and griddled bok choy. This will dazzle your friends as long as they like seafood, Depending upon the size of the squid you may have some filling leftover which would make great little burgers.
1 Whole medium-sized squid cleaned (ask your fishmonger to do this for you) N.B. if you can’t get hold of a whole fresh squid you could maybe use mini ones which you can easily buy frozen in freezer centres like Iceland.
500g pork loin fillet
For the pork marinade
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 teaspoons Korean chilli paste (Gochujang) or any chilli or Thai red curry paste will do)
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 thumb sized piece of ginger roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1 Tablespoon low salt soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten intolerance)
1 tin water chestnuts
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
Large splash of Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda (optional)
Large handful of coriander ( roots and stalks too)
4-5 Spring onions finely chopped
1 medium Carrot finely diced
1-2 teaspoons of Sweetener or sugar
Juice of half a lime
In a small food processor roughly blitz the vegetables for the marinade and set aside.
Next blitz the pork into the texture of mincemeat and then return the veg to the bowl.
Add the rest of the marinade ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Place the mixture into a freezer bag and leave to marinade for as long as possible. Overnight is preferable but even twenty minutes will do.
Score the squid in a criss-cross pattern being careful not to cut straight through the flesh. Season with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper and rub with a splash of vegetable oil.
In a good nonstick frying pan heat a small splash of oil and stirfry the pork lightly for about 3 minutes. . Try not to overcook it as the pork fillet is very lean and will dry out quickly, remember it will need more cooking inside of the squid. Allow to cool slightly for a few minutes and then stuff the tube part of the squid with the pork mixture
Seal the squid parcel using a couple of toothpicks.
Heat a nonstick griddle pan and brush with a splash of vegetable oil (usually they say to oil the food not the pan as it can be too smoky but in this instance any smokiness will just add to the flavour)
When the pan is fiercely hot fry the stuffed squid and the tentacles (if using) on all sides to create the charred marks and then transfer to the oven and cook for about ten minutes until cooked through.
I initially thought this was going to be far too long as they usually say when cooking squid to either cook it low and slow or really fast to avoid it being rubbery. I think it is all going to depend on the size and how you like it to be honest. According to Stella in Vietnam they prefer the squid to be more on the chewy side. You could even just keep frying it on the griddle pan just be careful to make sure that the pork is cooked.
In the meantime lightly stir fry your serving vegetables and griddle your bok choy or whatever accompaniments you are using.
When cooked allow the squid to rest for a few minutes before carving it in thin slices at an angle.
Serve on top of the stirfried vegetables and bok choy.