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XiaoLing

Pictorial on preparation for fresh Squid

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A while back ago there were questions about how to make cuts on squid/calamari to make it look like the “flower” in restaurants. The flower markings are not only made for decorative reasons but also for maximum yummy sauce covering surface space! :wub:

So here’s my crack on a pictorial for making flowering calamari. :smile:

First thing you do is clean and skin the body of the squid. Or if you’re lazy like me, buy just the cleaned squid bodies.

Place the squid flat on the cutting board:

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Cut the squid open horizontally:

gallery_48325_4009_99648.jpg

On the inside of the squid, starting from the bottom left corner, make diagonal cuts (0.25 inches wide) on a 45 degree angle. (Be careful not to cut all the way through the squid):

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Flip the squid to make it more comfortable for you make diagonal cuts starting from the bottom right corner as shown below:

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After all the diagonal crosshatch cuts are made, cut the squid into strips from top to bottom and then cut the strips into smaller cuts:

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After all this is done, you now have beautiful flower squid! Viola! :biggrin:

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I hope this helps anyone who is having trouble making the flower patterns on squid! Please don’t hesitate to ask if my instructions are hard to understand.

After you prep the squid you can make a simple squid dish with the following ingredients

Pre-blanched squid pieces (drained well)

Ginger slices

Hot green pepper slices

Minced garlic

Scallions

Shaoxing wine

Oyster sauce

Changking vinegar

Light soy sauce

Sugar

Black pepper

Cornstarch slurry

1) In hot put ginger, garlic and green pepper until fragrant

2) Carefully place squid into wok (stir until heated)

3) Add shaoxing wine (stir for a min)

4) Add oyster sauce, changking vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar (stir until all flavors blend)

5) Add a pinch of sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of squid

6) Add black pepper to taste

7) Add cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce to coat the squid

8) Sprinkle scallions on top

Serve and enjoy!! :laugh:

gallery_48325_4009_180506.jpg

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Oh Yum!

The only problem is the size of squid. I can only get small ones. They are tender, but I love the bigger ones.

Guess that means a trip to Winnipeg. :wink:

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I honestly love the smaller thinner squid with tenticles (usually about 6-8 inches long, body wise.) They are more tender and it saves me the step of "flowering" them. :laugh: I'm lazy. :blink:

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I honestly love the smaller thinner squid with tenticles (usually about 6-8 inches long, body wise.)  They are more tender and it saves me the step of "flowering" them.  :laugh:  I'm lazy.  :blink:

The tentacles are my favourite part, especially when they are lightly dusted with seasoned flour and deep fried. :wub:

But in a braised dish, I want the big chunks!

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Excellent! Thank you XiaoLing! We have another pictorial master here! :smile: We definitely need an annual Chinese food pictorial master reunion!

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So pretty! For laziness I beat everyone--the squid I buy is frozen, cut up, and already scored.

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I'm not sure that you win the laziness stakes, I send my wife to the local supermarket, where the woman on the fish counter does the cutting and scoring business to the fresh squid. I sit at home and wait. :biggrin::biggrin:

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Oh, and now, we have a laziness contest? Men! :wacko::laugh:

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Dejah, can you get frozen baby cuttlefish from Thailand? They are small, but thick and meaty. I've been using them in stir-fries and curries. I'm lazy and don't flower them, just cut them into rings that get very nice and tender. When the partner is in charge of cooking he uses squid and flowers them, but I don't have the patience!

regards,

trillium

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Dejah, can you get frozen baby cuttlefish from Thailand? They are small, but thick and meaty. I've been using them in stir-fries and curries. I'm lazy and don't flower them, just cut them into rings that get very nice and tender. When the partner is in charge of cooking he uses squid and flowers them, but I don't have the patience!

regards,trillium

Are they like little balls with tiny tentacles? They are usually served as dim sum?

I'll have to look next time I'm in the city. Thanks, trillium. :smile:

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Excellent!  Thank you XiaoLing!  We have another pictorial master here!  :smile:  We definitely need an annual Chinese food pictorial master reunion!

Thank you Ah Leung!

I don't know anything about being a pictorial master but anytime there will be a reunion of any sorts I'm there!! :biggrin:

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Very nice. You flower even better than my mother.

It seems strange that few outside of Asia have mastered this technique. It's so important to flower squid as you increase the surface area and more sauce and seasonings will adhere to it.

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Thanks Kent, that's a huge compliment!

I always agree with the importance of flowering squid, especially when it's thick. How else are you suppose to get sauce on those slippery pieces??

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