Squid for the Main Course
Rhode Island’s Biggest Catch Is More than an Appetizer
Coastal communities around the world feature squid on their menus, from the Mediterranean basin to coastal Asia, with flavors reflecting local tradition. As Rhode Islanders, we’re all too familiar with the restaurant appetizer favorite, fried calamari. But braising squid yields a tender result, suitable for the main course. And quickly sautéed, grilled or broiled, squid provides a fast and inexpensive source of protein for weeknight dinners.
Add to that, more squid is landed locally in Rhode Island ports than anywhere else in the country. It’s available both fresh and frozen at fish markets, already cleaned, making squid an inexpensive and convenient seafood option. Just be sure to inquire where the squid you’re buying is from, since foreign imports can still be found in the Rhode Island marketplace. Always ask for Rhode Island squid!
The key to broiling, grilling or sautéing squid is to cook the squid very, very quickly, and over high heat for no more than a few minutes per side to avoid a rubbery texture. When using these methods, be sure the squid is well patted dry to remove moisture. Doing so will allow it to brown.
Squid around the world:
• Korean Ojinguh Dupbop; sautéed squid. Slice squid tubes in ¼-inch rounds. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons red chili pepper paste, 1 tablespoon sugar, 4 to 6 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon grated ginger root, pinch crushed red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Quickly sauté the squid in sesame oil over high heat. Toss with dressing. Add water to cut the spiciness if desired. Serve over rice.
• Thai-style; grilled whole squid (tubes and tentacles). Combine minced garlic, hot chile peppers, fish sauce, lime juice and scant sugar. Brush the squid all over with vegetable oil and grill over high heat until charred, 4 to 6 minutes. Toss with dressing. Serve over rice noodles. Top with chopped peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges.
• Greek-style; grilled whole squid (tubes and tentacles). Whisk together minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and minced fresh oregano. Brush the squid with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the squid on high heat until charred, 4 to 6 minutes. Toss with dressing. Serve with a green salad or grilled vegetable
Cost: $19.55 for 4 servings, or $4.89 per serving.