1kg squid
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon tamarind paste, or juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 onions, cut into thin rings
jasmine rice, to serve
10 sprigs of fresh coriander, roughly chopped, for the garnish
1 banana shallot, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed
4 red chillies, deseeded
100g tomato purée

During the peak squid season the fresh local Asian markets are full of squid laid out on the counters, some covered in ink burs, and some that contain roe. It is a typical habit of Asian shoppers to pinch the tubes to check and then select any squids that contain roe.

I always find cooking squid can be tricky as it turns rubbery easily. My recommended cooking time below is for a tube 10cm/4in long, but bear in mind that once you have turned off the heat, the residual heat will continue to cook the squid; for smaller tubes, reduce the cooking time.


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1.Clean and prepare the fresh squid.
2.Pull the tentacles away from the body and cut off the bottom part that contains the ink.
3.Remove and discard the quill from inside the tube.
4.Blitz together the paste ingredients with 2 tablespoons water using a handheld stick blender or food processor until fine and smooth.
5.Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat.
6.Stir in the paste and cook for 3 minutes.
7.Next, add the tamarind (or lime juice), sugar, fish sauce and salt, cook for 2 minutes and then stir in the squid and onions.
8.Continue to cook for 3 more minutes and then turn off the heat.
9.Spoon into four serving bowls, serve with jasmine rice and garnish with the coriander.

Recipes extracted
with permission from
Bowlful by Norman
Musa (HarperCollins,
$49.99). Photography
Luke J Albert.