Twice-cooked squid with garlic and green chilli

Twice-cooked squid with garlic and green chilli

Chinese Unchopped
60 mins
Cooking time
10 mins
Martin Poole

In many parts of China and Hong Kong, cuttlefish are actually more popular than squid and, as cuttlefish have much thicker meat than squid, the double-cooking process detailed here is essential. I find that large squid also benefit from this pre-poaching – it softens the squid significantly, allowing the pieces to take in more flavour when stir-fried in the savoury sauce.


Quantity Ingredient
500g squid, cleaned and quills removed, (get your fishmonger to do this for you)
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon preserved black beans
3 garlic cloves
a small knob ginger
A pinch salt
3 spring onions, plus extra to garnish
1 red onion
2 large fresh green chillies
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

The sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. Wash the squid tubes and slice them open to lay them flat. Run the tip of your knife along the squid pieces in a diagonal criss-cross pattern (this will help the squid curl up nicely when cooking).
  2. Add the prepared squid to a pan of boiling water, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes. Remove the squid from the water with a slotted spoon and cool under cold running water, then drain and place in a bowl with the cornflour and mix together well.
  3. Give the black beans a quick rinse under cold water, then tip them into a small bowl. Finely chop the garlic and ginger and add them to the black beans with a pinch of salt. Lightly crush the ingredients together with the back of a teaspoon.
  4. Cut the spring onions into rough chunks and the red onion and green chillies into 1cm dice. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  5. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place the diced red onion at 12 o’clock, then arrange the spring onions, garlic and bean mixture, chillies, squid and sauce bowl clockwise around the plate.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking-hot, then add the onion and cook for 1 minute until slightly softened.
  7. Add the spring onions and bean mixture and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds, then add the green chillies and fry for 30 seconds more, maintaining a high heat all the time. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  8. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and bring it back to a high heat. Once smoking-hot, add the squid and flash-fry for 30 seconds to sear the squid all over. Return the vegetables to the wok, pour over the sauce and bring to a vigorous boil. Cook for 1–2 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly and is just coating the squid and vegetables.
  9. Serve with freshly sliced spring onion to garnish.
School of Wok
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