Grilled Calamari with Curried Crab Stuffing

By • May 2, 2011 23 Comments

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Author Notes: This is my variation on a stuffed calamari recipe from the book "The Cook's Encyclopedia of Barbeques, Grills, & Outdoor Eating" edited by Christine Barnes. The stuffing featured in the book is a two-tomato stuffing, and I wanted something a little heartier and bolder. I decided to put a little bit of an Asian spin on it, with flavors that I enjoy with seafood. When grilled the filled tubes remind me of a toothsome ravioli – the shell is pleasantly chewy, the filling is fairly soft but not mushy, and they are a pleasure to eat. I plan on serving these as an appetizer at my next dinner party.

NB: You will need to figure out the particulars of your grill to make this. I have a gas grill because I love the convenience, and I have my husband fire it up when I'm about ¾ done with stuffing the squid. If you have a charcoal grill you will need to plan accordingly. - hardlikearmour

Food52 Review: The best thing about this dish is hardlikearmour’s curried crab stuffing. Sweet crab is perfumed with fragrant curry, the crunch of red peppers, and a bright splash of lime, which makes for a truly wonderful stuffing. I had never grilled squid before and loved the speed of this cooking method. The squid emerged from the grill with a golden sheen and a lovely chewy texture. The only suggestion I would make is to consider seasoning the squid bodies before grilling them (perhaps a brief soak in a marinade or adding some herbs to the olive oil you brush them with) to punch up their flavor a bit. I had some leftover stuffing, so I formed the stuffing into cakes, dredged them with panko crumbs, and pan fried them until golden brown and crisp -- heaven! My family devoured them, clamoring for seconds (and thirds). So I recommend when preparing this dish that you make extra stuffing for crab-squid cakes, too! - cookinginvictoriacookinginvictoria

Serves 6 to 8 as a light appetizer, 2 to 3 as a main course

  • 1 & ¼ pounds pre-cleaned calamari tubes and tentacles
  • 1/2 pound crab meat, large pieces broken up
  • 4 green onions, white and light green parts, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup panko, slightly heaped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for brushing stuffed squid
  1. Rinse and drain tubes and tentacles. Pat tubes dry with a paper towel, and set aside (if you need to prep your veggies refrigerate them.) Count the number of tubes, and put at least that many round toothpicks in a bowl of water to soak.
  2. Roughly chop the tentacles, and combine with remaining ingredients in a bowl. Stir until mixture is well-combined.
  3. Individually stuff tubes with the mixture. A small spoon is helpful, but this is a fairly tedious process. Try not to get much stuffing on the outside of the squid tubes. Make sure to leave enough room at the opening to pin the tube shut in the end. It is better to err on the side of underfilling, if you have extra filling in the end you can stuff them a bit more. In cross section the stuffed squid should be oval.
  4. Once all of the tubes have been stuffed, use toothpicks to pin them shut. I found a back and forth twisting motion to be helpful. (You may cover & refrigerate these for several hours at this point if desired. Allow them 30 minutes to warm to room temperature before proceeding.) Brush entire squid with olive oil.
  5. Grill over direct medium-high heat (you can hold your hand over it about 3-4 seconds.) Turning every 2 minutes or so, until they are opaque, starting to brown, and a thermometer inserted into the fattest ones registers 160º. Mine took about 6 minutes to cook, but it will vary depending on size and heat of your grill.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Serve immediately.

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