07 Feb2006

The plates in this and the previous post are a set of Chinese aasqui1porcelain I inherited from my mother, who passed away almost ten years ago. This is the first time I have used them and I am thrilled with the pattern, so intricate and busy on its own, but so interesting when food is placed on the plate. There are tinges of green in the red/burgundy design that blends well with greens and other foods. I am a white plate kind of guy so opening up boxes of dishes and glassware from my mom’s era was a bit of a stretch for me but maybe it’s time for some color… Inspired by the photographs of the gai lan, I decided to also fry up some squid and serve it with green chillies marinated in vinegar…

To make the squid, our able cook mixed up some tempura aasqui2batter then dipped the squid in the batter and coated with Japanese breadcrumbs and deep fried for a minute or two until light golden brown. They were crisp, crunchy and chewy all at the same time. Delicious! Oh, I forgot you need to add salt and pepper before frying it up. Served with a side dish of chillies in vinegar (I stock up whenever I am in Singapore) with a splash of Kikkoman, it was a match made in food heaven. Throw in some hot steamed rice, a dish of gai lan, and it was a nice meal on even nicer china…



  1. joey says:

    Is this something like Salt and Pepper Squid? I love that! And those chillies in Vinegar sound really yummy…no chance finding them here?

    The plates our lovely…you are lucky to be eating off such beautiful things :) I would tell you to enjoy them but it looks like you already are :)

    Feb 7, 2006 | 11:02 am


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  3. ana says:

    Love your China! Love the combination of dark pink and green and the pattern, it’s so intricate… I just bought a teapot and a saucer in Chinatown in Singapore recently. It may not be the “real China” since I don’t know what “China” really is. But it sure is a bargain for S$5 for the teapot and S$1 for the saucer. Maybe because it was the Lunar New Year. I just love the crafstmanship. I may start collecting soon.

    I better try your squid recipe. It sounds delish! And I’m starting to get tired of our adobong pusit. I have a question though, is the two minutes enough to cook it?

    Feb 7, 2006 | 11:38 am

  4. Mila says:

    Do you buy black vinegar in Singapore? You can find it in chinese stores and in chinatown. Then just marinate jalapenos in them to make the dressing for the squid. Love spicy fried squid, yum!

    Feb 7, 2006 | 3:10 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Joey, our cook made up this recipe but it must be close to the salt and pepper squid that is often in Chinese restaurant menus… add lots of salt and pepper before you put the japanese breadcrumbs on this recipe. Ana, just cook till nicely colored. Frankly, I think there are only two ways to cook squid…very briefly say 1-2 minutes or very long in a stewed manner. If you cook it in between it gets very chewy. Squid is edible raw so just coloring it with heat is possible and preferable in my opinion. Mila, I didn’t get any black vinegar so I just mixed the marinade of the chillis with kikkoman…it was almost as good… This dish is really good, you must try it someday.

    Feb 7, 2006 | 5:22 pm

  6. Mary A. says:

    Love your website. I live in West Chester Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.
    I can’t help not making a contribution on this topic, squid is my all time favorite. Whenever I find it on any restaurant menu I always order it, although a lot of American friends find it a strange dish and would not touch it. I’ve had it in a Cajun style restaurant where they put it on top on a regular green salad. I have not attempted preparing the fresh squid at home since cleaning it is messy and leaves a lingering funky smell around the house. I was so thrilled recently when i discovered some cleaned, cut-up, uncooked version at the frozen section of Trader’s Joes (a French owned chain of specialty food store that sells organic foods, desserts, wines and cheeses from all over the world).
    Here is my take on that salt and pepper squid recipe. Defrost cleaned and cut-up sqiud and dip in beaten egg, then drench in self-rising flour, to give the batter a lighter and fluffier texture (regular flour or corn starch will also do, but add a tsp of baking powder). Deep fry, drain and drizzle with salt and pepper immediately. Serve, sprinkled with slices of jalopeno peppers and chopped parsley.

    Feb 7, 2006 | 9:02 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    Mary A., thanks for that recipe, sounds good. You are right that cleaning squid at home leaves an odor…but it just tastes so good… I like the chopped jalapeno addition…those are actually somewhat similar to the vinegared chillies I use as an accompaniment in the recipe above.

    Feb 8, 2006 | 5:51 am

  8. acidboy says:

    instead of black vinegar, i propose chinese red vinegar na lang. its taste is not as strong as the black and it leaves a sweetish aftertaste in a subtle way. also best with dimsum.

    Feb 9, 2006 | 10:25 am

  9. ShoppaHolique says:

    Marketman, I heard cooking squid less than 5 mins or more than 10 mins will have the same firm but soft texture

    Feb 9, 2006 | 8:54 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    I find that very brief and very long stewing is good…for squid salad I blanch the squid for say 1-2 minutes only until it floats then remove and dress with vinaigrette after it cools… If you leave it in longer it gets tough.

    Feb 10, 2006 | 6:04 am

  11. Therese C. Araneta says:

    Dear Marketman: I read with great interest & amusement your many articles. Kept me well entertained. Your website was sent to me by my sister in Manila who was just as amused so she passed it on to me in Guam- where there is a big whole for loftier stuff.
    Love the food tidbits, recipies and your frankness. You can count on me to check the site once in a while, if not daily!!!!.

    Feb 13, 2006 | 11:53 am


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