stir fried squid

Chilli squid with noodles

I've been experimenting this week with how I make sauces, just simple sauces I mean, I suppose just the flavour element really - usually I'll add the flavours straight to the pan, but then I got to wondering if sometimes it would work better to have them separate.

So instead of adding the chilli, garlic, ginger etc to the sea bass I made the other night, I fried the sea bass first and then made the sauce to pour over it.

It worked so beautifully, I thought I'd next experiment with adding the sauce to the pan, but combining the flavour ingredients together first rather than adding directly one at a time.

Oh and I thought I'd also give my rice noodles a little flavour bath to infuse even more layers of flavour!

And this chilli squid with noodles dish is now my current favourite thing to make.  I know it might look a lot of ingredients, or steps, but don't be put off, because it's actually really simple.

To make a huge bowl for a greedy one, or two smaller portions perhaps to have alongside something else, you'll need:

a couple of raw squid tubes - I always have a bag of frozen ones from the supermarket in the freezer and just defrost for ten minutes or so in a bowl of cold water


a layer of dried rice noodles, soaked in boiling water (off the heat) for a couple of minutes

1/4 a cup or so of boiling water

1/3 or a piece of a chicken Knorr stock cube

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce


1 tsp demerara sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tsp chilli paste in oil (if you don't have a local Asian supermarket, it's easy to make your own chilli paste)


a piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 red birds eye chilli, finely chopped (use less or more to your taste of course)

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced


some vegetables - I had green beans which I cut into smaller pieces and carrot, again cut into smaller pieces - but you could add red or yellow peppers or sugar snap peas or whatever you like

a few cherry tomatoes, halved - I added these just because they needed eating but I really liked them in this dish, so will definitely include in future too

PLUS ...

a few sprays of cooking oil, or a tablespoon or so of cooking oil

Cut open the squid tubes when defrosted (if frozen) and pat dry with kitchen paper then score on both sides to create a criss-cross effect before cutting into smaller pieces - rectangles, triangles, whatever you like!

Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles
Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles

Add the boiling water, piece of stock cube and dark soy sauce to a little pan, bring to the boil, stir to make sure the stock cube is mixed in well, remove from heat and add the noodles and then just leave them to soak up additional flavour while you prepare the rest.

Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles
Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles

Add all the stir-fry-sauce ingredients to a little bowl and stir to combine so it's ready to use, and prepare the ginger, chilli, garlic and the vegetables. Keep the tomatoes separate as they'll go in last.

Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles
Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles

Put a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the cooking oil and then the ginger, chilli and garlic. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds until it smells good - keep stirring so it doesn't stick and add a splash of water if needed.

Add the vegetables and cook for two minutes, stirring - add a little more water if needed to stop it sticking.

Then add the squid and cook for another couple of minutes - some of the pieces will roll up into tubes and they'll all look lovely where the diagonal pattern was made.

Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles
Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles

Add the stir fry sauce and the tomatoes and cook for two minutes more, then add the noodles from their 'bath' - but leave any liquid that doesn't come with them behind, you don't need all that liquid.

Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles
Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles
Rachel Redlaw chilli squid with noodles

Cook for another minute to get the noodles hot and everything stirred together - and then just tip out into a bowl to eat! 


Spicy stir-fried squid

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:

cooking oil

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

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid

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.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid

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.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid

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.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid