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Squid with Black Bean Sauce


Stir-Fried Squid with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Source: Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, Grace Young
Serves 2 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal


1 pound fresh cleaned squid
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1∕2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed and mashed
1 tablespoon chopped scallion, white part only
1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
3∕4 cup thinly sliced onions
2 teaspoons finely shredded ginger
1∕2 cup julienned red bell peppers
1∕4 teaspoon salt
1∕8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
12 snow peas, strings removed


1. Cut each squid body in half lengthwise. Using a very sharp knife, lightly score the inside of the bodies in a crisscross pattern. Cut the squid into 11∕2-inch squares and the tentacles into 2-inch pieces.

2. In a 2-quart saucepan bring 1 quart water to a boil covered over high heat. Add the squid and blanch 10 seconds or until the squid turns opaque and curls. Drain well in a colander, shaking out all the excess water. Set the squid on paper towels and blot dry to remove excess moisture. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce. In another small bowl combine the sesame oil, cornstarch, and the remaining 1 tablespoon broth.

3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the peanut oil, add the fermented black beans, scallion, and garlic and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Add the onions and ginger and stir-fry 1 minute or until the onions just wilt. Add the bell peppers, sprinkle on the salt and pepper, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the bell pepper begins to soften. Add the rice wine and stir-fry 20 seconds or until just combined. Add the squid and snow peas to the wok, swirl in the soy sauce mixture, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the snow peas are bright green. Restir the cornstarch mixture, swirl it into the wok, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the squid is just cooked.

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14 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. ems

    hi! i don’t know much about cooking but i loooove to eat. i like any food with black beans and i’m interested in trying to cook this recipe. what’s fermented black beans? can i use lee kum kee’s black beans garlic sauce instead? pls. help! thanks.

  2. This is one of my new favorite cookbooks, too, every bit as stunning and yet accessible as The Breath of a Wok. Grace Young’s books are as much fun to read as they are to cook from, and I’ve done plenty of both. So glad to see her new book featured here.

  3. I don’t own many cookbooks with Chinese recipes. Thanks for introducing this one to me. This recipe looks and sounds really good. I look forward to trying it since squid is one of my favorite seafood.

  4. Kudos to Grace Young for introducing the world to woks and stir frying. Even though we differ in our techniques and opinions, I am in awe of her body of work. I love squid when it’s not tough and chewy and this dish may the ticket to learning how to get this right! Looks beautiful as usual Bee.

  5. That looks amazing! I have only recently started appreciating squid (which is strange since it is part of my own cuisine!) so this is just perfect. Stir-frying is such a great way to prepare food although I am sure my own technique leaves much to be desired…definitely need to look into that book!

  6. Kina

    Hello there. I’m from Malaysia and I just came across your blog today. I found it very helpful, especially being a Malaysian to find Malaysian food’s recipes to be written in English. I will definitely refer to your writings from now on. However I have a question, since I am a Muslim, what would you advise best to substitute any alcohol-based ingredients to a halal one?

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