Squid is the ultimate budget food, perfect for me as I seem to be perpetually budgeting. I buy 1kg bags of frozen cleaned and prepared squid tubes and tentacles for about £2.50 in Chinatown. It's also diverse - a really quick cooking at a high heat as well as a long, slow braise will result in sweet and tender meat. So far I haven't as yet stewed it, but that is next on the list.
So here's a recipe for Squid in Black Bean Sauce.
200gr squid and tentacles, washed
1" ginger, chopped finely
1 fat clove of garlic, minced
1 red chilli, sliced
1 tbsp black beans, or 1 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp black or balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 tbsp cornflour, slaked
1 orange or green pepper, chopped roughly
Score the insides of the squid carefully, and then chop into chunks. Combine the black beans, rice wine, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Heat up some oil and fry the ginger, garlic and chilli until fragrant but not burnt. Add the pepper and fry till softened. Next, add the squid, fry for a minute, then add the black bean sauce mixture, the cornflour, and cook until thickened. Garnish with spring onion and serve with rice.
The dish has a great texture, something I seem to be obsessed with recently - slightly crunchy peppers contrasts well with soft and tender squid. Black beans are very versatile and it's easy to knock up a sauce with it using ingredients that last forever. Pick some up if you see them.