Squid Stir-fried at the Double Greeting Wonton House in Edmonton
I tried a number of dishes at Double Greeting Wonton House in Edmonton. Some were very good, and a few less so. The Squid Stir-fried here as a Side Dish was very nicely prepared with Chives in a light sauce. It used Semi-Dried Squid rather than fresh, and the result was both tender and tasty.
This dish appeared on the menu as ‘Dried Squid with Chives’ and was offered as a Side Dish for $7.95. As noted, the Squid itself was actually Semi-Dried, Half-Dried, and not the more common fully dried variety. This type also requires soaking to reconstitute it but the results generally are closer to the texture of fresh squid than when fully dried is used.
The pieces of Squid used in this dish were first partially cut in a diamond shaped lattice pattern. This causes the Squid pieces to curl up when they are cooked and, in Japanese Cuisine, at least, the technique is called the ‘Pine-Cone Cut’. The result is not only very attractive, it allows any sauce used to cling to the flesh more readily. Here, the sauce seemed to be a light chicken stock, slightly thickened with starch, and sweetened with just a dash of sugar. It was tasty to be sure, but also sufficiently mild as to allow the flavors of the other ingredients to come through nicely.
The Chives used here seemed rather to be the slender, tubular shaped Common Chives rather than the flatter Garlic Chives more commonly used in Chinese cuisine. They were still tasty, however, and cooked just long enough to be tender, but still have a fresh flavor and bright color. My only quibble was that the plating was a bit sloppy, and the Chives were collected at one side of the plate, with none at the other. This didn’t affect the eating experience at all, but it did diminish the prettiness of the dish as a whole.
One final observation I would make was that the flavor of the Squid was not quite as powerful as it might have been. Dried Squid, even when only half-dried, tends to concentrate the flavor of the fresh article, and this usually persist after soaking. Here though, the flavor like the more delicate taste of fresh squid, which was a bit unexpected. Still, the texture of the flesh did have the nice chewiness associated with the dried sorts and the difference in flavor didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this very pleasant dish at all.