In my mind I'm at the fishing port of Ban Phe, whiling away the time before the ferry to Koh Samet by having a a very spicy squid dish and squinting in the sun. An afternoon on beautiful Samet can't really be beaten - silver sand, perfect sea, a cold beer and a Thai massage on the beach under the trees before the speedboat back to the mainland. Day dreams.
In reality, it's been a really hectic day and I haven't had time to go to the shops so need a store-cupboard dinner - and I want it fast too! Frozen squid rings are a store-cupboard staple for me as they defrost quickly in a bowl of water, changed a couple of times as the ice comes off them, and are then also so quick to cook.
This easy recipe uses the nam prik pao (chilli paste in oil) recipe as well as fresh chillies, just to layer up the heat. You could make it without the chilli paste too, just add more chopped fresh chillies. You can of course make it with less, but I like this dish fiery hot.
Don't leave out the fresh mint and coriander - they make this simple dish something much more special.
Cook your rice first so that it's ready, as the squid cooks so fast. To save both time and washing up, I just threw some chopped green beans and broccoli in with the rice for the last few minutes' cooking time rather than cooking the veg separately.
Quantities for this dish are really up to you, but to serve two I used:
two cloves of garlic, chopped
one large milder red chilli and two birds eye red chillies, sliced
a 300g bag of frozen squid rings, defrosted
a tablespoon of nam prik pao chilli paste
a teaspoon of sugar
half - one tablespoon fish sauce to taste
two spring onions, sliced
a handful each of coriander and mint leaves
Chop and slice the garlic, chillies and spring onions, and tear the leaves of the herbs into small pieces so that everything's ready to go.
Heat a wok or frying pan and add the cooking oil, swirling to cover and when hot add the garlic and chopped chillies and cook for about 30 seconds over a fairly high heat.
Add the squid rings and cook, stirring, for a minute then add the chilli paste and cook for a further minute.
Turn the heat down a little to medium and add the sugar, fish sauce and spring onions - and cook, still stirring, for another minute until the sugar dissolves.
Take off the heat and stir in the mint and coriander leaves, and serve immediately with rice and green vegetables.
Let me know if you make this and if you liked it!
I just made this again without chilli paste but with another couple of fresh birds eye chillies and it was much hotter with just fresh chillies! My eyes are watering and I'm a chilli freak. I also used a mix of prawns and squid and yes it was hot but it was also super tasty - the mint makes it really interesting. This is a very good dinner.