Squid Taste Reviews and Chinese Cuisine Tips
Table of Contents
Why Squid Is Popular In Chinese Food?
Most Chinese hardly acknowledge the nutritional benefit that comes from eating squid but still can’t do without it when it comes to preparing Chinese culinary that lacks bone. When it comes to its taste, it’s hard to find any seafood with a complimentary taste like squid. It’s very chewy at the top but gets crispy around the tentacles.
If you’re a guest in China, you will come across a variety of dishes made with squid. From three cups squid to Chinese sushi. No matter the dish they’re prepared with, squid remains chewy.
What Does Squid Taste Like?
The taste of squid ranges from mild to rubbery. If cooked over medium heat, squid tends to have a mild flavor similar to that of shrimp and lobster. When overcooked, it becomes rubbery which robs it of its unique taste and that of the dish it’s prepared with.
Most people believe squid is completely tasteless while some believe the experience is similar to chewing on a rubber band. We agree that squid isn’t the tastiest of all seafood which explains why it’s never picked over the octopus. The mild taste of squid is hardly noticed in dishes, but this is the same reason why it’s easy to incorporate into a lot of Chinese cuisines.
No matter the Cooking method you decide to use, squid should never be cooked for long since it tends to lose its taste, the longer it stays on the fire. Generally, the method used in preparation also influences the final taste of squid in a dish.
The grilled version of the squid is tender on the inside and easily absorbs the flavor of the sauce it’s served with. When deep-fried, Squid gets crispy around the tentacles while remaining chewy on the outside. However, if you want a completely crispy squid, you will have to make it tender by boiling in hot water for a few minutes.
How to Use Squid in Chinese Cuisine
Squid may be one of the tastiest seafood around, but that doesn’t mask the fact that it’s hard to prepare. The cleaning process is tedious and takes more than one try to master. A lot of people have complained about the ink and how they struggled to get rid of it. If you aren’t careful and the gland which secretes the ink accidentally breaks, the smelly ink will splatter everywhere, thereby creating a mess.
No matter the kind of dish you decide to prepare, the cleaning process is just as important as the cooking phase.
When preparing squid, it’s okay to Stir-fry immediately after cleaning, but it is better to boil in warm water to make it tenderer and less chewy. This will ensure it absorbs some flavor before frying. Despite being firm, squid shouldn’t be cooked for long. The meat will become rubbery and tough if exposed to heat for a long time.
The kind of vegetables that can be Stir-Fried with this dish are numerous; from broccoli to cilantro. For any vegetable used, boil them in hot water for few seconds rather than sautéing. This ensures the vegetables absorb more flavor when combined with the squid.
Salt And Pepper Squid
The salt and pepper squid is everyone’s favorite Chinese takeaway treat. This Chinese culinary is chewy and crispy at the same time. The squid and the tentacles are separated from the body in a way that the taste of both parts complements each other.
The squid is cut into tiny pieces so they can easily become crispy. The tiny pieces are coated with eggs and seasoned with flour to make it crispy inside out. This method goes a long way to tenderize the body of the squid, making it less chewy and more crispy inside out.
Grilling is the easiest method used in preparing squid. Despite its simplicity, things can easily get messed up. When grilling, you need to take the moisture content of this seafood into consideration. The more moisture it has, the longer it takes to get grilled.
However, this gets tricky because squid can’t be cooked for a very long time. You either cook for few minutes to get tender or slow-cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Anything above that and it feels more like chewing rubber band.
The best way to prepare a grilled squid is to pat the squid dry and remove all moisture content on its surface before grilling. You also have to grill over hot coals so the squid doesn’t get chewy.
Crispy Squid Tentacles
Crispy Squid tentacle is enjoyed as a snack. Although the body of the squid can be prepared similarly, the Chinese prefer to use the tentacles because they’re crispier than the entire body.
Even though this dish is very easy to prepare, you must ensure the Tentacles are not over-cooked. In most cases, two minutes is enough to make the Tentacles crispy. If allowed to cook beyond this period, the tentacles become tough.
Is Squid Healthy?
Despite not being everyone’s favorite, studies show that squid is as healthy as other seafood in its category. This includes octopus, crab, and salmon. It contains an equal amount of Omega-3 acids and has a substantial amount of protein and vitamin. It’s a nutritional benefit is well known, but its method of preparation determines whether it’s healthy or not.
The Omega-3 fatty acid present in squid makes it heart-friendly, but there are exceptions to that. When fried, it’s cholesterol and fat content increases due to the oil it’s fried in. In essence, a relatively healthy meal can turn unhealthy.
Rather than fried squid, which is obviously appetizing, opt for cooked, grilled, or sautéed squid since they’re lower in fat and cholesterol. Away from its method of preparation, squid also contains anti-oxidant properties in which the body fight against several diseases.
Squid ink, which is extracted from this seafood is a natural source of dopamine, a compound that improves mental health. Eating squid thereby increases the body’s dopamine level, which makes you more productive.
Squid tentacles aren’t the only part that can get crispy. Crispy Squid is widely enjoyed, but this version is rarely enjoyed in our dining table at home. Most people suggest that boiling the squid for some minutes in warm water will make it tender. Thereby making it crispy when it’s fried.
While this method works for some, the easiest way of getting crispy squids is to freeze it before frying. If you’re coating with flour, ensure the surface is dry before rubbing the flour. Lastly, do not overcrowd the pan when frying. This will only make it hard to cook.