Beef Stuffed Baby Squid are filled with delicately seasoned Ground Beef, Onion, and Chili, and then deep-fried in a light batter for service.
Ground Pork would generally be used as a meat filling for Squid, particularly in Chinese versions, where Scallion and Ginger would almost certainly be employed. I wasn’t sure how Beef would work the first time I tried making this dish, but it turned out to be a good paring. Once deep-fried with a very light coating and plated nicely, the result can make for a very elegant appetizer.
For the best results, buy the smallest squid you can. You may end up having to prepare and clean them yourself but, typically, the very small variety are already eviscerated. In some cases, they are packaged as ‘Squid Tubes’, meaning just the body is included, and these are the best for this dish if you can find them. If the sort you purchase have the arms, tentacles, and the tail-wings still attached, you can remove these and reserve them for another use.
Apologies here, but I got ahead of myself in preparing this dish and was almost finished stuffing my squid before I took a picture of the stuffing itself, the remainder of which you can see above.
In any event, the stuffing is made very simply by mixing the cooked ground beef with the onion, chili, garlic salt, pepper, and cornstarch. If necessary, you can add a few drops of water to make the mixture a little sticky so that it binds together. It makes stuffing the squid tubes a little easier if you pop the mix into the freezer for about 15 or 20 minutes to make it stiffen.
Next, stuff some of the mixture into each squid tube and close the open end with a toothpick. This latter step isn’t absolutely essential, but it does reduce the risk of losing filling during deep frying.
Make the batter by mixing the flour with the egg white and a little water. You don’t need to beat this too smoothly; a few lumps here and there are just fine.
When ready, have deep-fry oil heated to medium-high, then coat each squid with flour, dip it in the batter, then deep fry for about 4 minutes until the coating is golden. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.
Above you can see a plating job slightly different from that in the very first picture. In the first case, the squid are left whole and a little Sriracha Sauce is added, whereas, here, the bodies are sectioned into slices and garnished with a lemon wedge. I actually tried these cold and they were every bit as good as piping hot.
Your Recipe Card:
Beef Stuffed Baby Squid
- 6 small Squid Tubes
- 1/4/ lb. cooked Ground Beef
- 1 Tbsp. minced Onion
- 1 tsp. minced Red Chili
- ½ tsp. Pepper
- 1 pinch Garlic Salt
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch
- ½ Cup Flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 Egg White
- If necessary, clean the squid and remove the legs, tentacles, and tail-wings, reserving these parts for another use.
- Mix together all the cooked ground beef, onion, chili, garlic salt, pepper, and cornstarch, stirring in a few drops of water to make a slightly sticky paste.
- Make the batter by mixing the flour with the egg white and a little water.
- Heat deep-fry oil over a medium-high flame then coat each squid with flour, dip it in the batter, and fry to golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels and serve hot with a dipping sauce if desired.