Ok the post about Nam pla Thai prawns apparently went down well so here’s the 2nd installment of Thai beer snacks. The revenge if you will.
This one takes a tiny bit of preparation but is well worth it. It goes well with beer (of course) and also the thai dipping sauce I posted a while back. I tend to use pre prepared frozen squid to save time, just allow to thaw. The trick to this dish is to remove the tentacles and score the squid in a criss cross (jump!) fashion, this does four things:
1. It allows the squid to cook quickly and evenly
2. The scoring allows more sauce/flavor to stick to the squid
3. It adds greater texture to the squid and looks more appetising than a bunch of white rubber bands
4. Makes the squid lucky (though I’m not sure how lucky being cooked and eaten is)
To achieve the level of luckiness (scoring) required you need 2 knives, one to score and one to insert into the squid body/tube to stop you cutting all the way through, as this would give you plain old squid strips that aren’t that lucky. Score both sides diagonally until you get the cross pattern and then cut into strips about an inch or so across
Chop the tentacles into smallish pieces and congratulations, tricky bit over – your squid have attained stage one of luckiness…
On to the rest of the ingredients
Prepared squid (aprox 4 small squid tubes per person)
2-3 bird’s-eye chillies, finely chopped, seeded
1-2 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp preferably palm sugar or other
1 stick of lemon grass, outer leaves removed and finely sliced
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
Juice of 1/2 a large lime
1-2 Spring onions finely chopped
a few leaves of Thai basil or regular
1 Tbsp of oil
Place all the ingredients (except squid) into a pestle and mortar and grind together to form a sort of loose paste. Set aside.
Heat a griddle (preferable) or frying pan/wok and add a tablespoon of oil when very hot. Throw in the squid strips in batches so not to over crowd (you need to cook quickly) and toss the squid around. It will start to curl/roll itself up into tubes, it only takes a minute or two to be cooked through. Keep the heat up transfer the batches from the pan to a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest, the tentacles cook the fastest so do these in a batch at the end.
When all the batches of squid are cooked add them back to the pan and then add the paste from the pestle and mortar. Stir around for a minute or two – being careful not to burn and making sure each of the squid gets a good coating.
Tip onto a warm plate, sprinkle over the basil and spring onion and serve with the Thai dipping sauce and lots of cold beer – prefeably Sigha.