Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oriental pork and squid meatballs

This had its origins in a fairly disastrous attempt to follow a Rick Stein recipe for steamed, stuffed squid. I got everything ready, but then realised that I didn't have anything large enough to steam my squid in, so I decided to stew them instead. And then I discovered that I didn't have any toothpicks to sew the squid together with, but ploughed on anyway. Inevitably, the stuffing spilled out, and that gave me the idea of just cooking the stuffing as meatballs. The result was really good, and had me wondering why there aren't more mixed meat and fish dishes.

After my trial version, I started from scratch the next day, with a fresh squid. I got a bit of a surprise when I cleaned the squid, as the poor thing had obviously not even had time to digest its last meal before being hoiked out of the sea.

800g minced pork/beef
100g prepared squid
2 inch chunk of fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
4 spring onions
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

  1. Prepare the squid by cutting off the tentacles, removing the purple skin, and removing its insides (together with any undigested fish still inside!). Chop finely.
  2. Place the squid and all the other ingredients EXCEPT the meat and breadcrumbs into a food processor and whizz until you have a paste.
  3. Put the meat in a large bowl, add the paste and breadcrumbs and mix well.
  4. Fry in plenty of oil until nicely browned.
  5. Serve with sweet and sour sauce and coconut rice.

Gefilte squid
I felt reassured to reflect that the genesis of this dish was exactly the same process as gefilte fish has gone through. This started out as stuffed, boned carp, but now people generally dispense with the whole fish and just serve the 'stuffing' as little poached patties. I thought that "gefilte squid" would probably be a unique term on google, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that gefilte squid is the national animal of the nation of Bnai Brith, and frolics freely in that nation's many lush forests. The things you learn.

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