Stuffed Squid Curry
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 pound squid, fresh if possible
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 green onions, white parts minced, tops sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 or 2 slices fresh or dried galangal (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup tender sprigs of basil, preferably the purple-stemmed Thai variety
Time Estimates

Prep time: 15 min  

Cook time: 30 min  

Total time: 45 min  


  1. Pour the coconut milk into a measuring pitcher and let it stand while you prepare the squid and stuffing.
  2. Clean the squid, peeling off the thin spotted skin. Try to keep the fins attached to the bodies when you remove the skins. Chop the tentacles as finely as possible and set aside.
  3. Cut a teaspoon of very thin slices off the bottom of the lemongrass; cut the rest into 2-inch pieces. Mince the slices as finely as possible with the garlic and ginger. Add the minced (white) green onion and squid tentacles and chop the whole mixture to a loose paste. Using a spoon or a pastry bag, stuff the squid bodies half full with the mixture, and close the ends with toothpicks. Refrigerate if not cooking right away.
  4. Spoon 2 tablespoons of "cream" from the coconut milk into a deep skillet or wok. Add the curry paste, galangal (if used), and the rest of the lemongrass, bruised with the side of a large knife. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is nearly dry. Meanwhile, discard as much of the remaining coconut cream as you like (or save it for Satay Marinade II); add water to the remaining milk to make 1 1/2 cups total liquid. Add the thinned coconut milk and the fish sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the stuffed squid and simmer until it goes through the tough stage and back to tender, about 25 minutes (cut one open and taste it, checking for doneness of the stuffing at the same time). Stir in the basil and sliced green onions, taste the sauce for seasoning and correct if necessary, and strain the sauce into a deep bowl. Remove the toothpicks from the squid before adding them to the bowl. The lemongrass and galangal can go into the bowl or not, as you like, but in any case are not meant to be eaten.


Makes 2 to 4 servings

Good to know

Like many Southeast Asian curries, this one has a lot of spicy broth and is meant to go with a lot of rice. Even so, you are likely to have some broth left over after eating all the squid, but it will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Which beer should I drink with this?

Something with a bit of sweetness to balance the heat--amber ale, Märzen, dunkel.


1. You can chop the stuffing ingredients in a food processor or blender, but it works just as well to chop everything together on a cutting board. Start with the hardest items (lemongrass, ginger, garlic), then gradually add the rest and keep chopping. Even if you're not especially fast with a knife, you will probably save time compared to setting up and cleaning the machine.


Squid stuffed with pork is very common in Southeast Asia. Substitute 2 ounces ground pork for the squid tentacles in the previous recipe. You can fix the tentacles back onto the stuffed squid, or simply add them to the curry to cook alongside the stuffed bodies, or you can use them for another dish entirely.

The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

Photo: Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten/Flickr