Make Ahead

Quick Wok-Fired Squid with Greens

May  1, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 2-4
Author Notes

This dish doesn't get much easier to assemble. It requires less than 10 minutes of actual cooking time and about 10 minutes to prep the ingredients (even fewer if you buy your squid already cleaned).

I love the addition of the fish sauce to this dish. It adds a salty and savory note.

Depending on what's in season, you can add any number of greens, such as spinach, pea shoots, snow peas, tatsoi, and chives. - wildgreens —wildgreens

Test Kitchen Notes

We had never had squid prepared this way before, and now we wonder why. The clean, Southeast Asian flavors (ginger, garlic, lime juice, chile, fish sauce, basil) make great counterpoints to the pleasantly chewy squid, and the tingling heat keeps you wanting more. (We used only one serrano, as ours was large, but if you like spice, by all means use two.) The wilted greens, which char lightly on their first pass in the wok, still retain a little crunch and soak up all the tangy juices -- we couldn't stop sneaking back to the pan for extra forkfuls. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound squid, bodies and tentacles, cleaned and sliced into ½ inch rings (frozen is fine)
  • 1.5 pounds greens, such as bok choy
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely diced (we used 1)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3/4" piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 bunch basil, about 1 ounce (three large stems or 1 cup lightly packed)
  1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When smoking hot, sauté the greens until wilted about 5 minutes, set aside.
  2. Add a little more olive oil to the wok, add the serrano chiles, garlic, and ginger. Add the squid and cook about 2 minutes.
  3. Mix the fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime. Add the fish sauce mixture and cooked greens, toss in the basil leaves and sauté until the basil is wilted.
  4. Serve over brown rice, or barley, which acts as a sponge to soak up the juices created during the cooking process.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • littlesister
  • bpfox
  • melissav
  • ChefMommy

30 Reviews

Tad June 14, 2013
This is a hit...I made it with 4 X the garlic, rice wine to sauté the squid, shrimp and bok choy stems. I also used a little oyster sauce in addition to the the fish sauce. I did not have fresh basil so dried leaf spice had to do the job. My tip is to separate the green bok choy leafs from its white stems and add the leafs at the very end for 1-2 min. green scallions were great for garnish T.
AntoniaJames June 14, 2013
Excellent suggestion (to cook the leaves and hard white end pieces separately)! ;o)
GSmodden May 1, 2013
I made this last night, but the squid released a lot of water, even though I used fresh squid. And then it took a while to reduce, even on high heat...and I didn't want the squid to get tough. So, my dish, while still very tasty, had a lot of soupy sauce...which I sopped up with rice. Can I do something in the future to avoid so much liquid?
nowarmsoda May 1, 2013
make sure your pan is really hot, and don't crowd it, do it in batches if you have to.

see this timely post in NYT from last week:
GSmodden May 1, 2013
Good tips! Thanks. I definitely crowded.
AntoniaJames April 3, 2013
Taking this one in a vegan direction tonight (except that I'll use fish sauce, though I may try using doenjang instead) substituting dry pan-fried tofu cubes for the squid. Will use yu choy and flat-leaved Chinese mustard; plan to make lacto-fermented pickles with the stems, flavored with scallions and rice vinegar (thanks to BeijingRose, who provided inspiration and instructions in a comment exchange re her red-braised pork belly recipe, posted here recently). Will serve over barley. Love this recipe, which has become quite a favorite in my house, of late. ;o)
nowarmsoda March 11, 2013
This is almost exactly the same recipe as Mark Bittman's, with the exception of the fish sauce.
AntoniaJames March 11, 2013
Actually, the addition of ginger, lime juice and brown sugar, with the nam pla (fish sauce), with basil as a garnish, makes this dish quite a bit better than the Minimalist recipe. ;o)
AntoniaJames October 7, 2012
Made this without the squid as a side dish with Thaifoodie's Thai Fish Cakes. Great recipe - a real keeper!! ;o)
littlesister September 17, 2012
Just made this tonight and it was great! I used beet and turnip greens because that's what I had and only had to buy the squid. Followed the recipe exactly (but substituted chili sauce for the pepper) and really loved it. The sauce/garlic/ginger/basil combo seems very versatile and I'll be sure to keep it in mind when making other stir-fries. Thanks for posting!
Rogan May 8, 2012
I made this last night with shrimp instead of squid and lemon instead of lime. It was so easy and so flavorful!! I also added some fresh mint and fresh scallions at the end just because I had them. I also omitted the sugar and added a dash of toasted sesame oil. My fiance was impressed. Thank you!
charlotte A. February 5, 2012
I picked up some squid at the Farmer's Market this morning, and was searching for a way to cook it that wasn't deep-fried or tomato-based. The green-centric photo caught my eye, and I made a version of this, substituting for what I had on hand: broccoli and brussel sprouts for the greens, lemon for the lime, soy for the fish sauce, left out the chiles and the basil. It was super delicious- thank you!
bpfox January 9, 2012
This was outstanding and so, so easy!
melissav October 13, 2011
Finally made this and it is delicious (and easy). Definitely a keeper.
HelenfromNM October 12, 2011
I made this this evening; spinach & kale; chicken instead of squid; couldn't find my brown sugar (I know I have some!) so used white. Made a half recipe using 1/2 a jalpeno. Incredible delicious!
ColoradoCook June 7, 2011
This was lovely! Such a great flavor profile and so versatile. I've already made a few times substituting shrimp and pork for the original squid. I also like throwing a bunch of soba noodles in the pan as an alternative to rice. Delicious and easy - doesn't get better than that! Thank you!
chefplerl May 16, 2011
The picture looks scrumptious. I like the simplicity of the recipe, and it sounds like a great balance of spice. I'll be trying this one at home.
ChefMommy May 16, 2011
I am thinking of making this for my mom. I am not usually a seafood person but I learned to try everything, so I am interested. I am not sure where I could find squid but this has definitely made me want to find it. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being a finalist.
Chef R. May 15, 2011
Sounds really good and I like how easy and fast it is to prepare. The spices and seasonings will give this dish balance and good flavor. I plan to definitely find out where I can purchase squid in my hometown. I look forward to making this very soon and think the Asian flavor will be great!
bigpan May 15, 2011
Very nice as a hot summer salad. I like using the rule for squid - cook for 2 minutes or less; or, more than 2 hours (stew) in order to keep tender. Also, I like a quick pan fry and not using a deep fry method for health reasons. A bit of gai lan can add some body to the greens. Love the lime too! You got my vote.
cookinginvictoria May 15, 2011
Congratulations on being a finalist! I have never made stir fried squid before, but that is about to change. I look forward to trying this very creative recipe. Love the flavor profile with all of the Asian seasonings. Looks wonderful.
FrancesRen May 13, 2011
congrats! wonderful recipe.
hardlikearmour May 12, 2011
Congrats, this sounds delicious and seems ridiculously quick and easy to make!
Panfusine May 12, 2011
Congratulations on the finalist pick!