This tweaked version of fried squid also yields a crispy result
1/4 ounce dried shiitakes (2 to 3 medium mushrooms)
8 whole, small squid (about 1 pound)
1/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons nuoc nam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil plus additional for rubbing the squid
broad, soft lettuce leaves (green-leaf lettuce is perfect)
julienne strips of carrot
julienne strips of scallion
Vietnamese fish sauce
fresh lime juice
1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire.
2. Cover the shiitakes with warm water and soak for 30 minutes, or until soft. Cut off the stems and discard. Chop the caps and reserve.
3. Clean the squid, leaving the purple membrane attached. Discard the head, beak, and body organs. Reserve the body sacs and tentacles. Chop the tentacles coarsely and add to the work bowl of a food processor. Chop the shrimp coarsely and add to the food processor with the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Add the reserved chopped shiitake mushrooms. Process for about 10 seconds, or until a coarse paste is formed.
4. Place the 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a wide, heavy sauté pan over very high heat. Add the paste, spreading it out into a single layer. Brown it for about 1 minute on one side. Turn it and brown for 1 minute on the other side. Remove and let cool until cool enough to handle.
5. Stuff the body sacs with the paste. (Do not overstuff; there should be about 1/2 inch of space near the opening of each squid sac.) Close the openings by pushing a few toothpicks through each one. Rub each sac with a little peanut oil.
6. Place the stuffed squid on the grill. Cook, turning frequently, about 10 minutes. (The squid should be browned on all sides.)
7. To serve, place each stuffed squid on a lettuce leaf. Top with garnishes and roll up.
Note: If you want a more elegant presentation at a sit-down dinner: place a lettuce leaf on a dinner plate. Slice a cooked, stuffed squid sac into 5 or 6 rounds, and place on the lettuce. Cover with garnishes and sprinkle with fish sauce and lime juice.
Many chefs around the world like to stuff squid. This tweaked version of fried squid also yields a crispy result: This tweaked version of fried squid also yields a crispy result: as the stuffed squid come off the grill, guests roll up their own portions of squid and garnishes in lettuce leaves. Serves 8 as an appetizer