Grilled Calamari with Curried Crab Stuffing

May  2, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8 as a light appetizer, 2 to 3 as a main course
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 —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

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! - cookinginvictoria —cookinginvictoria

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • wssmom
  • Bevi
  • healthierkitchen
  • cookinginvictoria
  • Midge
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

23 Reviews

singing_baker May 4, 2011
wow! This look amazing! I loooove crab. I am so making these.
hardlikearmour May 5, 2011
Thanks, singing_baker! I was particularly pleased with the filling. Do let me know if you get a chance to try them.
wssmom May 4, 2011
Amazingly wonderful! Or, wonderfully amazing!
hardlikearmour May 4, 2011
Thanks, wssmom! With tweaking the recipe my husband and I ate about 2 lbs of squid over the week end, and oddly enough I'm craving it again.
Bevi May 3, 2011
Crab and squid together sounds like double duty delicious!
hardlikearmour May 3, 2011
Thanks, Bevi! I find the combo to be very yummy.
Goldz May 2, 2011
can't wait try them! thank you for adding the note about using the gas grill. Dale and I also love the convenience of the gas vs u ever add anything (leftover rosemary or herbs to the flame) to get a little smoky flavor?

hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
Thanks, Goldz! Do let me know if you get a chance to make them. I have used fine wood chips and tea in a foil tray to add some smoke flavor for other applications, but not with this one. Maybe next time!
healthierkitchen May 2, 2011
These do sound delicious! Mrs. Larkin, would love to see your mother's recipe too!
hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
Thanks, hk! I agree, mrslarkin, you should share!
Beautiful photo -- and the flavors sound so clean and bright. Looks delicious!
hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
Thanks, civ! The flavors are really nice, especially with a squeeze of fresh lime juice to really make them pop.
Midge May 2, 2011
Love grilled squid and the flavors you used here sound spectacular.
hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
Thanks, Midge. I used a similar flavor combo to some scallop cakes I've made and loved, and it worked out really well.
boulangere May 2, 2011
Wow! I want to reach right into your lovely photo and grab one of those plump beauties!
hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
Thanks, boulangere! That's quite a compliment coming from a chef of your caliber.
boulangere May 2, 2011
You are kind as always, but really, phooey. Take credit where it is due, and that's you!
hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
You crack me up!
boulangere May 2, 2011
Seriously, this is pretty darn perfect.
mrslarkin May 2, 2011
Well done, hla!! Reminds me of a stuffed calamari my mom does w bread crumb, parsley, garlic. These look delicious!!
hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin! I was very happy with the results. My husband and I polished off a lot of squid over the weekend.
gingerroot May 2, 2011
These sound really delicious. I'd be a happy guest at your next dinner party with these!
hardlikearmour May 2, 2011
Come on over! There are direct flights from HNL to PDX!