Recipe: thai fried squid
Sucker holes are those enticing blue spots that occasionally make an appearance through stormy or overcast skies. I learned that terminology from Jeremy a couple of decades ago. Sucker holes. It’s what we’d identify while backpacking or hiking the high country, indicating a thinning of clouds, perhaps even clearing skies. But the reason they are called sucker holes is because they give you hope for better weather. The nomenclature seems particularly apt for nature photographers. Clouds sloshing about in the turbulent atmosphere open and close the windows to the blue skies above. We chase them in the hopes of capturing something magical.
dark stormy mammatocumulus clouds over a rainbow
The storm system that swept over Colorado delivered a nice infusion of snow to our mountains. Many of the ski resorts reported several inches as they began snow-making operations for the season. Forecasts all pointed to sunny and clear weather for about a week after the system passed. That’s good news for people who like that kind of weather, but rather dull news for photographers. I packed up and shipped out, driving back to Crested Butte via back roads.
a nice dump of snow for early october
my version of church
standing under aspens as leaves rain down
freshly fallen leaves on freshly fallen snow at my feet
Fall photography benefits tremendously from flexibility in one’s schedule, because the leaves, the atmosphere, and all of the other ingredients are going to chug along at their own pace. I emailed Jeremy that I was tired and wrapping up for the season. He drove out from Boulder to Crested Butte for the weekend to help me pack up and get our place ready for winter. It just so happened that my friend and mentor, Michael Frye, emailed me from the road that he and Claudia were Colorado-bound to chase some aspens and did I have any aspen reports. I convinced them to swing through Crested Butte and spend a night with us so we could talk fall colors and show them around the area, but also because they are such a delightful and fun couple.
a little color over crested butte at sunset
jeremy was craving secret stash pizza
a much needed trail run with happy cattle to boot
aspens winding down
Jeremy is always bummed to leave Crested Butte, because it is his Very Happy Place. I’m sad to leave, too, but I am quite happy to go home to Nederland. Our favorite neighbors will be returning from their summer season in Canada, there are projects planned with various friends, I look forward to seasonal produce at my favorite markets in Boulder, and I can cook out of my #1 kitchen once more! So while I’m on the road home, you can consider this recipe for Thai fried squid (calamari). It’s my parents’ go-to appetizer when we dine out at the local Vietnamese restaurant in Boulder.
squid tubes and tentacles, egg white, salt, pepper, cornstarch
My main motivation for making this appetizer was to dip it in the Thai sweet chili sauce I made earlier. It’s a perfect pairing if you love squid. Even if you don’t love squid, you could fry mushrooms or zucchini or tofu and it would still be great. They key here is: frying + Thai sweet chili sauce = awesome. Math 101.
pat the tentacles (and tubes) dry
slice the tubes into 1/2-inch thick rings
lightly beat the egg whites
This just happens to be a gluten-free recipe as it uses cornstarch for breading rather than flour or bread crumbs. Regardless of what you use to bread the squid, it gets a little messy and you’ll probably need to clean/wash your hands off several times. But it’s worth the mess. Bread and fry the squid in batches so the early ones don’t get too soggy waiting around. It takes a couple of minutes for the squid to cook.
dip into the egg white
coat in cornstarch
drain after frying
season with salt and pepper while hot
As with any fried dish, these are best eaten fresh and hot to maximize the crisp outer coating. If they get cold, I’m sure you can revitalize them with a little oven time. The fried squid were perfect when dipped in the Thai sweet chili sauce. You aren’t required to serve this with the chili sauce, but it’s so easy to make your own – why not?! You can also try a garlic aioli or ponzu or just give it a squeeze of lemon. Whatever you decide, I hope you love it as much as we do!
serve with thai sweet chili sauce
Thai Fried Squid
from Food and Wine
1 lb. medium squid tubes and tentacles, cleaned
vegetable oil for frying
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup cornstarch
Cut the squid tubes into 1/2-inch rings. Pat the rings and tentacles dry. Heat an inch of oil to 350°F in a large, deep pot for frying. In batches, dip the squid pieces into the lightly beaten egg whites and then dredge the pieces in cornstarch. Carefully place the squid into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes. Remove the fried squid from the oil and drain on paper towels. Toss the fried squid with salt and pepper (to taste) in a large bowl. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
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