Thai-style Stuffed Squid

October 27, 2009


Thai Style Stuffed Squid

Too cold for a BBQ you say? Pah! Never. Well, not yet anyway. There’s nothing like flinging a few good things on a hot Weber to chase away the winter blues, and good things were in abundance as we chowed our way through these enormous steaks, some spectacular sausages, a smoky baba ganoush, a rack of sticky jerk ribs and my contribution: Thai style stuffed squids.

When researching the recipe I discovered that stuffing squid with pork mince is actually a Vietnamese preparation but I had some galangal, coriander and lime leaves hanging around so Thai-style it was. To lighten the stuffing I also added breadcrumbs soaked in milk (as you would for an Italian meatball), which might seem a bit odd but was designed to avoid ending up with an overly heavy and coarse mixture, what with it being a BBQ and therefore an exercise in maximising stomach capacity. I actually added a bit too much in the end which I thought made it overly loose but everyone else told me to stop fretting and rein in the pedantry.

The most important thing to bear in mind when preparing your squid is that one should not over-stuff. The squid shrinks when cooking and if you’ve too much pig jammed in, then there can only be one result and that is a big porky mess. I’d pre-cooked the filling so we simply rubbed with oil, seasoned and grilled until golden on each side; just enough time for the filling to heat through and the squid to stay delightfully bouncy and toothsome. The tentacles were also given the appropriate amount of respect; we saw no better way to treat them than seasoning highly and draping across the searing hot grill until the suckers were curled and crispy-tipped.

At 7pm, when two layers of clothing were no longer enough to keep out the chill and the wind kept blowing out the candles, we admitted defeat and retired to the sofas for cheese, gin and a bit of inebriated shouting at the telly. Winter BBQ’s rock.

Squid on the BBQ


Thai-style Stuffed Squid

6 squid (on the small side of medium), cleaned
350g minced pork
2 tablespoons fish sauce (plus more to taste)
2 fat spring onions (green parts only), finely sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 crushed garlic cloves,grated
1/2 inch piece galangal, grated
4 lime leaves, finely chopped
2 Thai chillies, finely chopped
1 small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
2-3 sliced of white bread (crusts removed), soaked in enough milk to make it into a mush when mashed with a fork
Black pepper
Juice of 1 lime (plus another to adjust to taste)

Cocktail sticks, for sealing

First make the filling. Mix the pork mince with all the ingredients except the fish sauce, lime juice and coriander. Add this mixture to a pan over a fairly gentle heat and stir every now and then until cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely if you will not be cooking the squids right away.

Ensure that each squid is sealed at the thin, pointy end as they can sometimes have a hole. If this is the case, secure with a cocktail stick before stuffing each with the pork mixture. Take care not to overstuff the squids as they will shrink during cooking. Secure the end with another cocktail stick.

To cook the squid, rub each with oil and season lightly then grill until golden on each side.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Lizzie October 27, 2009 at 11:20 am

    These were so delicious! It worked a treat and the breadcrumbs were a stroke of genius.

    They repeated on me for the rest of the night…

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    Reply neil October 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Sounds delish’. I never think about stuffing squid but come to think of it
    it’s crying out for a good stuffing.

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    Reply Jonathan October 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Awesome. It’s never too cold for a BBQ. I love the photo of the squid grilling. It’s going to make my sandwich for lunch seem very disappointing!

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    Reply powerfulpierre October 27, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    awesome combo, Thai, squid and pork who would have thought it, bbq in the depths of autumn, here in France we are still having an Indian summer during the day, cold at night though, if it continues might mention it to Mrs Powerfulpierre

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    Reply Bellini Valli October 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I have been craving stuffed squid since my visit to a Spanish tapas restaurant in San Francisco. Thanks for the reminder:D

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    Reply Gourmet Chick October 27, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    These look great Helen – I have made stuffed squid like this before and then sliced them and put them in a broth – super impressive dinner party entree.

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    Reply Sharmila October 28, 2009 at 9:39 am

    It’s 9:30am and I’m drooling…I’m definitely going to have to make this. I love any SE Asian flavours with squid.

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    Reply David Hall October 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Hi Helen – long time and all that, this teaching is taking up all my time! Loving the look of these I have to say. Bloody gorgeous.

    What’s going on in your life?

    Dave x

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    Reply Peter October 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Helen, only a snow-covered grill will stop me from outdoor BBQ/grilling. Love stuffed squid and your’s is exotic and no doubt delish.

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    Reply Tracy October 28, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I LOVE the idea of a winter bar b q. Gorgeous pics.

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    Reply we are never full October 29, 2009 at 12:39 am

    fabulous w/ using the pork mince. we’ve stuffed ours with rice and black pudding but i’m loving the pork and Vietnamese flavors!

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    Reply gastrogeek October 29, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    I love the way you’ve written this, brilliant! (The squid looks super tasty too)

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    Reply Cynthia October 29, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    BOOKMARKED! Oh gosh, you torture me!

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    Reply Oysterculture November 8, 2009 at 4:21 am

    I agree with the torture bit. These little guys look mouthwateringly good. I love all the ingredients, and like frying I can’t help things taste so much better grilled. Need to find some excuse to go to my in-laws and use their grill. Maybe I’ll offer to cook these for them.

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    Reply AK February 13, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Tried it….loved it! Replaced the pork mince with shrimp mince and it was fabulous (did not add the bread crumbs either)! Served with walnut+raisin bread and a simple pine nut salad and some pinot noir…amazing.
    Thanks, Helen

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    Reply Helen February 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Brilliant! So glad to hear you tried it AK. A lovely variation with the shrimps too. The crumbs just lighten the mix and are not essential at all, as you’ve found out.

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    Reply Owen July 2, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Just stumbled upon your site Helen, lovely stuff.
    Its never too cold OR too wet for a BBQ. The missus prefers not to cook, but she’s a mean G&T mixer and brolly holder when the BBQ is lit and it rains. We now have a lovely BBQ smokey golf brolly that we keep in the shed; you cant use it outside or you get followed by other peoples dogs for miles. πŸ™‚

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    Reply pasi September 18, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    it’s weird to say but this is NOT exist in Thailand. hahaha! In Thailand, there is stuffed squid but this is like someone try to put whatever Thai spice into it then called it Thai ……

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 19, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Hi Pasi, I’m aware of that, it’s just a bit of fun.

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