Squid Sauted with Garlic and Lime – Bplah Meuk Gkratiem Manao
A Recipe of Kasma Loha-unchit
w Recipe Copyright © 2000 Kasma Loha-unchit.
- 1 lb. squid or cuttlefish
- 2 green onions
- 2 Tbs. peanut oil
- 1 head finely chopped garlic (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp. freshly ground white peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tbs. lime juice
Clean the squid and cut into 1-inch rounds; leave tentacles whole. Drain well and squeeze gently to remove any water that may be trapped inside the rounds. (If using cuttlefish, score the steaks on the exterior surface with a diagonal criss-cross pattern without cutting through. Then cut into bite-size rectangles.) Let sit at room temperature at least 20 minutes before cooking. If the surface is still wet when you are ready to cook, pat dry with a clean towel.
Trim off and discard the root tip of the green onions and 1/2 of the green parts. Slice thin rounds from the white part to yield 1 Tbs. Chop coarsely. Cut the remainder of the stalks into 1 1/2-inch segments; then cut lengthwise into fine matchstick slivers.
Heat a wok until its surface is smoking hot. Add the oil and saute the garlic over medium heat until it is faintly golden. Increase heat to high and add the squid. Saute with frequent stirring until the squid begins to lose its translucence. Add the white pepper and salt. Continue to cook until the squid is just cooked through.
Toss in the chopped green onions and sprinkle with lime juice. Stir and quickly remove from heat onto a serving dish. Garnish top with the green onion slivers.
Serves 3-4 with other dishes in a shared family-style meal.
Notes and Pointers
Since the local Southeast Asian market near where we live started carrying imported, frozen cuttlefish on a regular basis, this dish has become a frequent feature on our dinner table. My husband, who enjoys cooking, would alternate between this mild, peppery dish and the boldly spicy pad chah (see foregoing recipe), making both with the tender and meaty cuttlefish. I make sure our freezer always has a bag around for a quick-and-easy meal when we run out of fresh food in the refrigerator and don't have time to go grocery shopping.
The 2- to 3-inch-size pre-cleaned cuttlefish are very tender but yet has a meaty texture. I seem to have much better luck buying cleaned cuttlefish that are fresh-tasting than cleaned squid. Perhaps it is because squid are machine cleaned and subjected to a lot of water pressure in the process. They are left in tubes and not opened up into steaks; frequently broken guts are left trapped inside the tubes, which turn some of them old-tasting.
See Also: A Seafood Culture