Stuffed Squid is a delicious seafood dish that can be served both as an appetizer or main dish.
The stuffing is a real flavorful one, made with rice and plenty of veggies. And it gets cooked separately first before it is added to the Squid.
And once the Squid is stuffed it gets cooked in a rich tomato sauce. Which is in fact one of the best sauces for bread dipping. One of the reasons why it's such a popular Meze dish in Greece. Meze= appetizer plate that accompanies alcohol like Ouzo.
Is Squid The Same As Calamari?
Squid is almost the same as Calamari. Actually, you can even use Calamari to make this recipe. The only difference between the two is that Squid is usually larger in size and its meat can be a bit tougher. That's why it is better cooked slowly like it is done in this recipe.
Whereas, to make fried squid it's better to use Calamari which is smaller in size and more tender. Another way to tell the difference between which is which, is the side fins. In squid, the fins are shorter towards the narrower end of the body. On the other hand, Calamari has wider full-body fins.
What Does It Taste Like?
Squid is meaty and has a similar flavor to that of cuttlefish and octopus. Especially when cooked inside a sauce. The sauce, on the other hand, has a strong flavor similar to a sauce in which you have cooked fresh crabs (for those who have ever tasted such a thing). If you are not familiar with such a flavor just think of a sauce flavored with lobster and a hint of seafood ink. I can't think of a better way to describe it really 😀
How To Make Stuffed Squid
First, prepare the squid. Remove all that's inside the squid including the bone. Finely chop the legs to sautee them and use them inside the stuffing. Then sautee the veggies and rice and let the rice cook with some water for a couple of minutes.
Stuff the squid using a spoon. Here's one thing you need to pay attention to. Don't overstuff the squid. Don't press the stuffing inside the squid too much. The squid's body shouldn't look like it is about to explode. Also, leave some space right at the top (about 2 cm/ 1-ich). This, as well as the toothpicks used to close the squid, ensure the stuffing won't come out of it while it cooks.
You can then cook the squid inside the sauce just until the sauce thickens nicely. Let the Squid stand inside the sauce for at least 20 minutes for the stuffing to set before cutting the squid into slices and serving.
SERVE IT WITH 🠯
Stuffed Squid With Rice + Vegetables
- 600 grams Squid (1 large or 2 smaller ones)
- olive oil
For The Stuffing:
- ½ medium-sized (80 grams) red onion minced
- ½ small (20 grams) green onion finely chopped
- ½ (30 grams) long sweet green pepper finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- ½ small (50 grams) zucchini grated not too fine
- ½ small (60 grams) carrot grated not too fine
- ½ small (30 grams) stick of celery finely chopped
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) round short-grain white rice
- ½ large (120 grams) tomato finely diced
For The Sauce:
- ½ medium-sized (80 grams) red onion minced
- 1 cup (250 grams) tomato passata
- 1 teaspoon sweet red pepper
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Clean and prepare the Squid. Separate the head from the body. Cut the head right at the base of the legs. Discard the head and keep only the legs. Finely chop the legs and place them in a bowl.
- Remove everything that's inside the body of the Squid and rinse well. Remove also the outer skin if there is any. Then place them in a strainer.
Make The Stuffing:
- In a non-stick frying pan heat a generous splash of olive oil over high heat.
- Add the chopped Squid legs to the pan and reduce heat to medium.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add both types of onions, pepper, and garlic.
- Cook until slightly softened. Then add also the zucchini and carrot and cook until they soften also.
- Add the celery and rice. Then add the tomato and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and simmer covered until rice absorbs all of the water.
- Take the pan off the heat and let the stuffing cool down a bit.
- Using a spoon, start stuffing the Squid leaving about 2 cm (1-inch) space at the top. Also, make sure the stuffing is just enough inside the squid. It shouldn't look like it's about to explode.
- When you are done, use one to two toothpicks to close each Squid at the top and secure the filling inside. NOTE: If there is leftover rice filling keep it to serve as a side to the squid.
Make The Sauce:
- In a medium-sized cooking pot heat a splash of olive oil over high heat.
- Add the red onion and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook until the onion softens a bit without letting it get any color.
- Add the Squid and cook for 2-3 minutes flipping it occasionally.
- Then add the passata along with 2 cups of water, sweet red pepper, and the bay leaf. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Put the lid on the pot and simmer covered over medium heat (medium-low on a gas stove) for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Or until the sauce thickens nicely.
- Take the pot off the heat and let the Squid rest in the pot for at least 20 minutes. Then serve cutting it into slices. You may serve with some hot red pepper or red pepper flakes on top.
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