Thai Squid With Chilies and Basil

"The first time I fixed this, my husband and I were so astonished by the deliciousness of it that I got up from the table and made another batch! We use small whole squid, but you could cut them into rings. Don't take too many shortcuts -- it's okay to use brown sugar, but try to find Thai basil. Definitely use plenty of fresh chilies for their flavor, cut out the seeds and ribs to keep the heat level down."
photo by fluffernutter photo by fluffernutter
photo by fluffernutter
Ready In:




  • Pound of grind the red and green chilies, the garlic, the cilantro, and salt to a paste.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or skillet and fry the paste over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the squid and banana peppers and stir-fry for about 3 minutes until squid is cooked.
  • Add fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves and basil. The mixture should taste hot, salty and sweet, so adjust seasonings if necessary.

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  1. narobbins
    This recipe has potential and good ingredients, but needs a few changes. The sauce, which makes the whole dish, should only be cooked briefly, perhaps one minute. Frying these ingredients for 2-3 minutes over high heat completely burnt the paste and we had to throw it out - a shame, because all the work was in making the paste. No one at my green grocer knew what a banana chili was, so I chose the most banana shaped one I could find, which was the anaheim chili. The second problem in the recipe is the instructions for adding the squid (we used frozen, uncooked squid rings) and additional chilies. While the chilies take about 3 minutes to cook, the squid should be cooked between 30 seconds to one minute at most - otherwise it turns to inedible rubber. Fortunately I knew this, and our squid was mouthwateringly tender. Finally, the amount of oil for the sauce needed to be at least doubled to be sufficient for frying the paste ingredients and creating a sufficient amount of sauce for the squid. We served it over jasmine rice, with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts. With these changes I'd give this recipe 4 stars. Everyone enjoyed it and cleaned their plates.


Food writer, recipe editor, gear tester, restaurant reviewer in the US. Author, "Southern Cooking for Company" (HarperCollins 2015); :The All-New Square-Foot Gardening Cookbook"; "Seductive Tables for Two," and many other books, usually for other people, companies and groups. You probably have one of my books on your shelf. I love to talk about food.
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