Treat from the sea: Vietnamese spicy stir-fried squid (Mực xào cay)

Just simple as that, a bowl of rice and a dish of this spicy stir-fried squid and I’m good for the night! If you’re living in the seaside then this dish would be perfect as fresh squid just caught from the sea will taste so much better than the frozen ones and it’s still one level above the “fresh” squid that you can buy at the market. You travel along the coast of Vietnam, you stop at the beach and get a sun bath and after that, you should find those small Vietnamese ladies who sell these beautiful little creatures and take them home and … cook them 😀 I used to hate seafood but well, when I prepare it myself and they are fresh, I can eat the whole thing alone! This dish is simple, it’s truly Vietnamese and it’s healthy too! But wait…the best part is that it takes about 10 minutes to cook 😀 perfect for my impatience. Here’s how you do it.

*Ingredients:

– 500 gr fresh squid, cleaned and sliced into medium-large pieces (keep the tentacles as a whole if the squids are small)

– 2 fresh tomatoes, slice into big wedges.

– 1 tbsp of minced ginger.

– 1 onion, sliced thinly.

– 1 red chili (huge, long chili which are not so spicy)

– a lot of spring onions (as much as you want) chopped into large pieces.

– 1-2 tbsp of sriracha chili sauce/ chinsu chili sauce.

– 2 tbsp canned tomatoes.

– 1 tsp sugar.

– 1 tbsp fish sauce.

– salt and pepper to taste.

*Method:

1. Prepare all the raw ingredients so that they are ready for some quick action!

2. Put the pan on the stove and set fire on high. Only add the oil when the pan is extremely hot, do not put the oil in before otherwise it will burn easily.

3. As soon as the oil is in, throw in the onion and the ginger and chili.

4. After 30 sec – 1 min, add the squid and stir them constantly.

5. Add the fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes along with the chili sauce.

6. Continue to stir fry the squid, season with salt, pepper, sugar and fish sauce.

7. After 5-6 minutes, turn off the stove and add the spring onions.

8. Give it a good stir and serve. DONE!

I know you’re gonna love it 😉

Le Degustationator.

Street of Hanoi: warm and crunchy eel vermicelli (Miến Lươn Trộn)

Hi all!

Have you been to Vietnam? If you’ve been there and if you’re observant, you will probably see some small street vendors selling this dish called “Miến Lươn” in Vietnamese which basically means “Eel Vermicelli” if translated literally. The dish comes in three main versions: stir-fry (I love that one), soup (popular but doesn’t really suit my taste because the soup destroys the crunchiness of the eel) and finally, the third version, which is very modern and is loved by all Vietnamese teenager, is sort of in between, it has a very thin sauce but it’s not stir fried or a soup. That’s the one I’m gonna show you how to make today. So what to know about this beautiful dish? I guess vermicelli (some call it “glass noodle”) isn’t too common outside of some Asian countries (not so sure though). It’s a transparent sort of spaghetti, quite thin, and comes in two versions: brown and white. The brown one is normally made from “Arrowroot” but then it can be processed so it turns white (I hate that…), I think brown is sexier 😀 And there is the white one that is made from mung beans, they don’t taste so different from each other but the brown one is just better ^^ (because I said so!) I also admit that the “eel” sounds kinda gooey and disgusting but it’s not! (Well the fresh and alive ones are really slippery and annoying, looks ugly as well :D) The eel that is used for this dish is crunchy  (you can buy these fried/crunchy eels or make them yourselves, I didn’t make them myself). It’s just so amazing! Let’s see how we should proceed.

*Ingredients: serves 2

– 200 gr vermicelli

– (100 gr bean sprouts to add some crunch if you want, I didn’t have that day so…)

– 120 gr fried eel

– 3 tbsp light soy sauce (or Maggi)

– 2 tbsp oyster sauce

– 1 tbsp fish sauce

– 1 tsp sesame oil

– spring onion (as much as you like)

– 1 tsp sugar

– Vietnamese fresh herbs (Vietnamese coriander or Persicaria odorata is a MUST!)

– 1 tsp fried onions/shallots for garnish

– 1-2 tbsp of pork/chicken/beef/eel stock

– 1 tsp chili oil*

*You can find the recipe for making this sauce in my Snail noodle soup post at:

https://foodloverguy94.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/a-taste-of-home-vietnamese-snail-noodle-soup/

*Methods:

1. Soak the dry vermicelli in cold water for 20-30 minutes. Blanch the vermicelli in hot water for few minutes until it’s cooked (you gotta taste). Make sure it’s not overcooked. Drain and set aside.

2. Put the stock in a sauce pan. Add all the sauce together. Add the fresh herbs. Add spring onions last.

3. Mix the vermicelli in the sauce, transfer to a plate.

4. Mix the fried eel in the vermicelli.

5. Garnish with some more fresh herbs and fried shallots. Dress with a little of chili oil.

!!!SERVE IMMEDIATELY!!!

Have fun!

Le Degustationator.