Stuffed Squid with Mushroom, Shallots and Cellophane Noodles

I felt in love with stuffed squid when I had my first at an Italian restaurant decades ago. It was stuffed with bread crumbs and herbs, cooked in a pomodoro sauce over linguine. It was really delicious, and I wandered at the time how to make that dish. Fast forward to decades later, I made that dish in culinary school. I learned that with squid, you either cook it in minutes or braise for longer period of time, otherwise it'll get rubbery.

Since then I went to Vietnam and had their version of stuffed squid. It was stuffed with a pork mixture, and then sliced into rings. I love how tendered the squid tasted, and the meat mixture went well with the squid. I've wanted to make that dish for some time; so when I saw the beautiful squid at PE & DD Seafood at Union Square Greenmarket this past week, I thought I should finally make it myself. I have some fresh shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes at home so I decided to stuff the squid with a mushroom mixture, and cook them in a tomato sauce, using Vietnamese seasoning.

Stuffed Squid with Mushroom, Shallots and Cellophane Noodles

Mushroom Stuffing
1/2 lb. of shiitake mushroom (minced)
1 medium size or 2 small shallot
2 gloves of garlic (minced)
2 ounces of dried cellophane noodles, aka bean thread or mung bean noodles (softened with hot water and chopped)
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. of fish sauce
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. of brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl then spoon mixture into each squid body. Do not over stuff each squid. Leave at least 1/4 inch from the top and seal it with a toothpick. 

6 medium to large squid (cleaned and leave whole)
1 shallot (diced)
1/2 lb. of cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/4 cup of water
1/2 tbsp. of fish sauce
1/2 tsp. of brown sugar
1/4 tsp. of red chili flakes
1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
Sprinkle of chopped cilantro for garnish

Once all the squid are stuffed, heat a large skillet. When the skillet is hot, add oil. Saute shallot for a few minutes until softened. Add the stuffed squid; saute each side for a couple of minutes. Then add tomatoes, fish sauce, sugar, chili flakes and water. Cover and let it braised in low heat for at least 30 to 40 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, and I recommend serving it with rice as you wouldn't want to waste a drop of the sauce. Enjoy!

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