Squid with Jackfruit
Ai Qi and I had dabbled with cooking before we entered college, but it was really only when we lived abroad in Pittsburgh did we cook more regularly and seriously. Our cooking was done in our apartment along Winthrop St, in a house we shared with a bunch of other Singaporeans. Among them were Jie Siang and Dianne, both studying architecture at Carnegie Mellon, and fellow foodies as well. Oh, and did I mention Dianne is also my cousin?
All that was years ago, and now the two of them are living and working in New York. They got married earlier this year, and were back in Singapore last week for a wedding dinner with relatives and close friends. It only seemed natural that we invited them over for dinner one weeknight, to share our lives as well as our appetites.
Since JS and Dianne enjoy and appreciate eating, we decided to be a bit more adventurous in our cooking; at least, more than we normally are with other guests. In particular, they'd been away from Singapore for some time, so we focused our menu on flavours local to the region. The result was a kind of fusion, but hopefully not in a tacky way. Our next few posts will be of the courses we served over the meal.
The first course was a simple appetizer, featuring steamed squid and slices of jackfruit. Jackfruit is a pungent tropical fruit and while I've seen it used in cooking, I've never seen it paired with seafood before. The result was pretty tasty though, and probably something we'd serve again.
Due to its simplicity, it is crucial that you get the squid cooked to just the right texture. Most people overcook squid, resulting in a chewy, rubbery ring that is definitely not good eats. We steamed ours for just a minute; try underestimating the steaming time as it usually cooks faster than you expect.
- olive oil
Recipe:Cut the squid into thin rings. Steam till cooked, which usually takes only a minute or so. Set aside, and chill in the fridge once cool.
Remove the seed from the jackfruit, and cut the flesh into thin strips.
In a bowl, add the chilled squid and olive oil. Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice, and add some lemon zest as well. Salt and pepper to taste, and toss to season evenly. Add the jackfruit, plate and serve. Garnish with cilantro if you want the additional colour.