I made steamed squid for the first time last week when I tried a recipe from Jo Marion Seow’s Soya & Spice as I was reviewHer recipes are mostly Toechew ones, and the steamed squid with taucheo (preserved and salted yellow beans) and coriander was really good. Best of all, the recipe only calls for three ingredients, and takes all of 5 minutes to make. The star ingredient though was, for me, the coriander. I kept heaping on more coriander as it really perks up the dish.
Eating that entire plate of steamed squid (all on my own) got me hankering for more steamed squid, and more coriander. And it also got me thinking of the steamed squid I had in a Thai restaurant outside Alor Setar, Kedah. There is steamed squid, and coriander, but the dressing is certainly a stark contrast to the salty taucheo. The Thai dressing is sour, sweet and burning hot. I remember wanting more and more of the Thai steamed squid, and drinking loads of iced water to cool my burning lips… what worked best was the jelly in young coconut that we had for dessert.
Anyway, I looked up the recipe and decided to concoct the dressing without the garlic that is called for. I used thinly sliced shallot instead, and kaffir lime leaves because I have the plant in my garden, and I love its fragrance. The important ingredients are the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and bird’s eye chilli, and getting the balance of flavours that you like best.
And of course I heap on the coriander – lots and lots of it. And after dinner, I made a bowl of tomato salsa and heap on loads and loads of coriander – cos I am obsessive, but just a little obsessive, not crazy stalker obsessive. Tomorrow I’ll move from coriander to something else….
500g squid, cleaned and deskinned
1 medium lime, juiced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4-5 bird’e eye chilli, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 stalks coriander, coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced
Steam squid for 4-5 minutes. Remove the steaming liquid, and cut the squid into thick rings.
Make the dressing by mixing the rest of the ingredients together. Taste to check if you like the sweet-sour-hot balance.
Then, pour over the squid.
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