{Recipe + Video} Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚

Asian Style Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce
Squid is notoriously hard to cook because its collagen-rich flesh tastes fishy or turns hard and rubbery when it’s undercooked or overcooked. In this post, I’d like to show you how to prepare squid the Chinese way and cook this easy and delicious Stir-Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce.

While squid is a delicacy in China, the phrase “stir-fried squid” in Chinese holds a rather unpleasant connotation when used outside the context of food. When someone says “stir-fried squid”, it literally means getting fired from one’s employment.

The background story is not so intuitive if you are not familiar with Chinese culture but in a nutshell, It’s because the squid curls into tubes when cooked, that tubular shape closely resembles the shape of rolled up bed sheet, which, in old days, means packing up your personal belongs (bed sheets) and leave your job.

So, do not ever shout “stir-fried squid” to someone in Chinese unless you are at a dinner table!Asian Style Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce

Speaking of tubes, it’s important to know that pieces of squid don’t just automatically roll into pretty looking tubes when you cook it. But you are in luck today because I am going to walk you through the necessary preparation so your squid would curl up like the one in the picture above.

How to Prepare Squid the Asian Like a Pro

Always start with fresh squid. Remove the skin before you do anything else.

Then, split the squid in halves lengthwise to expose the inside.

With the inside facing up, gently score the flesh at 60 degree angle, about 1/8” apart. Remember when you score, you don’t actually cut through the flesh.

Once you reach the edge of the flesh, turn the squid 90 degrees and repeat the above process. The second set of cuts should be perpendicular to the first set. Once done scoring, cut the squid into 1”x2” strips and you are ready to go!
Asian Style Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce
Does that sound complicated?

I think so too. That’s why I also made a YouTube video to demonstrate the process of preparing squid PLUS how to make this Stir-fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce dish.

As we speak, I am working on a few really exciting videos as we speak so if you don’t want to miss any new videos, please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel and switch on the notification. And also kindly give me thumbs up if you find my videos helpful.

More on Cooking Squid

As I mentioned in the beginning, a lot of home cooks I know are frustrated with cooking squid. When you undercook it, it’s fishy and chewy. When you overcook it, it becomes hard and rubbery with one exception – when it’s stewed for over an hour, it’s tender again. So where is the sweet spot?

It depends on the temperature and cooking method. If we focus on stir-frying and boiling only, it should take no less than 1 minute but no longer than 4 minutes. Yeah that’s a very narrow window but that’s what it takes to make a tasty squid dish.Asian Style Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce

Just as a reference, to make this Squid in Black Bean Sauce dish tender and juicy, the squid is only stir fried over high heat for a little over 1 minute after blanching. The texture will be very different if you cook for one minute longer.

Step-by-step recipe

Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚

Yield: 2 Servings

Prep Time:10 mins

Cook Time:10 mins

Total Time:20 mins

Learn to make this quick and easy Stir-Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce following my step-by-step instructions at http://yireservation.com


  • 2 large squid, skin removed
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2 slice ginger
  • 2tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1tbsp fermented black beans
  • Cornstarch slurry (1tsp cornstarch + 1tbsp water)


Clean and cut the squid. Please read the instruction above or watch my YouTube video on how to properly prepare squid.Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Sliced the squid into smaller strips, around 1"x2".Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Mince the garlic and slice the ginger. Cut bell pepper into strips.Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Soak the fermented black beans in cold water for 1 minute. Drain off the liquid.Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Bring a pot of water to a hard boil. Blanch the cut up squid in the boiling water for 20 seconds or as soon as the squid curls up. This step is to remove the liquid from squid. Remove the squid and drain off the excess water. Set aside.Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a wok or fry pan over medium heat. When it’s smoky, add the ginger, garlic, and black bean and stir fry for about 30 seconds.Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Add bell pepper to the wok and stir constantly for about 2 minutes.Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Turn the heat to high and add the blanched squid to the wok. Stir to mix.Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚Add the cooking wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce. Stir fry constant for 30 seconds. Mix in the cornstarch slurry and stir for another 20 seconds or so. Turn off the heat and serve immediately. Asian Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce 豉椒炒鱿魚 

Have you cooked squid before? Please share your experience in the comment area!
Asian Style Stir Fried Squid in Black Bean Sauce


  1. 11

    How beautiful the SQUID is, I seldom fried SQUID like this, I think it is because the way you cut it. I would try this tomorrow after work.

  2. 10

    I always use fish in this recipe, now I guess I have to try it on squid.

  3. 9

    I love black bean sauce, also like your video. Thank you for this recipe.

  4. 8

    Yes, you are absolutely right in regards to cooking squid…yours look perfect…and your carving is just gorgeous…they sure look very tender.
    Thanks for the great instruction Yi.
    Have a wonderful week 🙂

  5. 7

    You’re right that it’s easy to cook squid incorrectly. Even in restaurants I’d had it when it’s too rubbery. Great instructions, both for how to cut it and cook it. And this recipe looks wonderful! Thanks.

  6. 6

    You did a fantastic job of carving your squid, gorgeous shot. Love the simplicity of this dish . Sharing!

  7. 5

    I love tender squid and perfected cooking it when I was in my early 20s. Having a Japanese mother is plus! I eat squid so much that I buy it frozen, whole, by the 5lb box. I cook it any style…Asian, Italian, Spanish, etc. I don’t like squid rings so I tend to cut the squid in 1/2 inch wide strips so it kind of coils up. Looks interesting that way. Haven’t tried the criss-cross cuts yet. I don’t waste much of the squid. Always use tentacles and in some dishes, I use the insides. I have found that flash sauteing the squid for no more than 30-45 seconds in the aromatics first, then removing from pan, adds some good flavor to the squid. Don’t blanch first, though, or you’ll have tough squid. It will keep cooking, that’s why no more than 30-45 seconds. Quickly do your veggies, add squid, and serve it immediately. Believe me, I dislike rubbery squid but it’s funny that a lot of people think that’s how it’s supposed to be.

    I’ll try the criss-cross method soon and this recipe looks tasty. I like to make a Japanese snack called ika no shiokara. It’s sometime referred to as fermented fish guts. The innards are used but so is the squid flesh. It’s salted and not fermented at all. In fact it can be eaten after and hour. I use smaller squid as opposed to the big ones because the squid liver is milder. You should try it sometime! Again, Thanks!! https://www.spinjapan.net/try_shiokara_with_sake/

    • 5.1

      omg, thanks for introducing me to ika no shiokara. I’ve never had it and the closest fish guts I’ve had is the grilled whole pike mackerel with guts and everything. That was delicious. Will check out the recipe. Thanks again for sharing.

  8. 4

    What a magnificent meal!
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy x

  9. 3

    Thanks for such an easy recipe. I make squid with black bean sauce quite often and I can’t wait to try your recipe. Again thanks Yi

  10. 2

    Thanks for such an easy recipe. I love squid in black bean sauce and make it quite often so I can’t wait to try your recipe. Again thanks Yi

  11. 1

    This is definitely a challenging dish to make…it seems easy, but I know this takes skill to get it right. Those squid slices look so tender and succulent…perfect, Yi.

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