Stuffed Calamari Braised in Sriracha Sauce

sriracha sauce stuffed calamari recipe
I’ve been touting the virtues of the flavor-packed and highly-versatile Thai Sriracha (not the “rooster sauce”) for so long, and my regular readers have seen it used in many different ways from a cocktail sauce to a marinade and even a stir-fry sauce. Judging from the way things are going, we might even figure out one day that Sriracha sauce also cures athlete’s foot and helps exfoliate your facial skin.

But for now let’s just focus on Thai Sriracha as a braising sauce.

sriracha sauce stuffed calamari recipe
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Get one pound of squid (just the bodies, not the tentacles) and one pound of ground meat (pork, turkey, or chicken is recommended). Season the ground meat a little with salt and pepper. (Don’t overdo it, because Sriracha sauce is already full of flavor.) Then you stuff each calamaro with the ground meat, leaving about 10% of the cavity unfilled (the meat will expand when cooked and the squid body will shrink — overstuffing will cause breakage). Secure the opening of each filled calamaro with a toothpick.

Brown the outsides of the calamari in a saucepan, lightly coated with vegetable oil (not olive oil as it doesn’t go well with Thai Sriracha, in my opinion), over medium-high heat. Once you get some caramelization, pour 1/2 cup of Thai Sriracha sauce* (to repeat, not “the rooster sauce”) over the calamari, close the lid, lower the heat to medium-low, and let everything cook undisturbed for 6-10 minutes (depending on the size of your calamari). Once the filling is cooked through, the squid is done; overcooking will only make the calamari tough and rubbery.

Transfer the calamari to a serving plate, cover, and keep warm. You will have quite a bit of liquid left in the pan which you want to reduce down to 1/3 of what you have. Just let the liquid boil over medium heat, uncovered, until you get a thicker, more concentrated sauce. Pour the sauce over the calamari and you’re all set. (Some chopped fresh cilantro can be added for extra flavor and color, but it’s not necessary.) I hope you have a pot of steamed rice cooked and ready to go by the time the squid is cooked, because, trust me, you will want to eat it right away.

This dish isn’t exactly a braised dish as it does not require long, slow cooking. You can easily use this ratio in any braised meat dishes. The procedure is the same: cook the meat in Sriracha sauce, remove the meat when it’s done, and reduce the liquid until you get a thick sauce.

*This recipe is tested with Thai Sriracha, not the American-made Rooster sauce.

17 Responses to Stuffed Calamari Braised in Sriracha Sauce

  1. Rick May 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Very nice

  2. Mel- May 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    That looks amazing, Leela! Love squid 🙂

  3. 5 Star Foodie May 11, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    This is fabulous! And just perfect with sriracha sauce!

  4. Manggy May 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    I would never have thought you could braise in Sriracha. This is right up my spice alley 😉
    I think if you cook the squid way past the 30-minute mark, they will turn soft again, but then again that’s way too much time, hehe 🙂

  5. Jenn May 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    One day I’ll venture in trying to cook with squid or octopus. Other than that…I love me some sriracha every now and then 🙂

  6. lisaiscooking May 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    Now, I definitely have to make some sriracha sauce because this looks great! Calamari is so often too bland for me, but I think the sauce would certainly prevent that here.

  7. Mary July 3, 2010 at 5:13 am #

    this looks sooo good, but i have a question. how did you get the squid browned in the pan? whenever i try to get some color on them, they release too much juice and they just end up simmering. they cook up fine and taste good, but theres not a spot of color on mine. am i not letting the pan heat up enough?

  8. Leela July 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Mary – Yup. That, or 1. the pan is overcrowded, or 2. the sides of the pan come up too high causing moisture to get trapped inside instead of evaporate quickly. I use my All-Clad stainless steel 12-inch fry pan and medium high heat is enough to get good caramelization. If you use a nonstick pan, you may want to increase the heat to high, wipe the filled calamari dry before browning, and brown them in batches.

  9. LOM September 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Your final product image shows the tentacles, but you specifically say to get a pound of squid bodies. I am hoping to catch squid this weekend and would love to try this recipe. I don’t want to waist the tentacles though. Would you recommend tossing them in right after the sauce is poured into the pan so that they too can cook undisturbed for 6-10 minutes?

  10. Admin September 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    LOM – Haha. I added the tentacles in there because the squid would have looked so lonely and naked in the picture without them.

    The weight in the recipe is for the bodies alone. The tentacles are extra. I’d throw them in right at the end.

  11. LOM September 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Um, delicious! We caught squid this weekend, made a small mess of our outdoor kitchen and thoroughly enjoyed this dish. So tender and flavorful. We had trouble finding red jalapenos or serranos, so we couldn’t make our own sriracha. We used the Shark brand sriracha and it was still great. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Admin September 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    LOM – Appreciate the report!

  13. Joana March 3, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Dear Leela, what side(s) of vegetables would you suggest to be a good match with these little beauties?

    • Leela March 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Joana – It’s meant to be eaten with rice, not as a stand-alone dish with vegetables on the side. (Wait, did I misunderstand your question?)

      • Joana March 5, 2014 at 5:27 am #

        I do get that the stuffed calamari and rice are meant to be 🙂
        But in case the heretic in me still wanted to sneak some vegetables onto the same plate, in your opinion what choice of vegetable would be the best (or the least frowned upon)?

        • Leela March 6, 2014 at 10:07 am #

          Joana – In that case, I think anything you like would work.


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