Home » Ingredient » Seafood » Braised Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao}

Braised Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao}

by Shirley

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Red Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao 比目大烤}

Braised Squid is such a traditional and well-liked Shanghai style seafood dish. Known as Bi Mu Da Kao {比目大烤} in Chinese. We braise the whole squid in low heat first, let them cool down in the braising juice to soak up the flavor and then slice them into serving bite-size rings. The squid slices are so soft and super delicious.

Perfect to pair with rice, noodle or steamed buns {Mantou}. Perhaps the best way to enjoy an extremely yummy, nutritious squid cooked in an easy healthy way.

Red Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao 比目大烤}
Red Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao 比目大烤}

Shanghai style is an important integral part of Huai Yang Cuisine

Shanghai style food is part of the Huai Yang cuisine, one of the Four Great Traditional Chinese Cuisines. Huai Yang Cuisine {淮阳菜} is native to China’s Yangtze River Delta, a place I proudly call my hometown.

Well known for its natural deliciousness, Huai Yang Cooking Style aims to bring out the food itself’s inherent yumminess. This area is blessed with abundant seasonal fresh produce since ancient time. The simple condiments are only there to complement but not overshadow the food itself.

Huai Yang Style Food typically uses very little salt, oil, and avoids any over-powering condiments, including hot peppers. Therefore, it is suitable for all ages, including young children.

It worth mentioning that each major city in this area, take Shanghai for example, over the time has developed its own featured dishes.

Classic Shanghai Style food at-a-glance

Speaking of Shanghai Style cuisine, also known as Ben Bang Cai {本帮菜} in Chinese, Bi Mu Da Kao and Cong Kao Ji Yu {葱烤鲫鱼 Pan Fried Whole Crucian Carp with Scallions} are the two most important seafood dishes.

Other well-known Shanghai style dishes include Red Braised Pork Chops {Hong Shao Da Pai 红烧大排}, Shanghai Soup Dumplings {Xiao Long Bao 小笼包}, Sheng Jian Mantou {Pan Fried Pork Buns 生煎馒头}, Sweet and Sour Ribs {Tang Cu Pai Gu 糖醋排骨}, and Stir Fried Rice Cake {Chao Nian Gao 炒年糕}.

Classic Shanghai Style Dishes and Recipes
Classic Shanghai Style Dishes and Recipes

What do you need to make Braised Squid Shanghai Style?

For the squid, usually you can get get wildly caught frozen solid squid from the Asian or International themed grocery stores.

Clean whole squid could be an easy and efficient process as long as you know a few tips and tricks. Read here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial that shows you how.

Clean Whole Squid {Easy and Efficient}
Clean Whole Squid {Easy and Efficient}

Other than the cleaned and peeled whole squid, you just need regular soy sauce, light soy sauce, rose fermented bean curd, star anises, bay leaves and sugar as the key seasoning ingredients. Green onions and ginger are the fundamental herbs of Chinese cooking.

For sugar, I recommend either using sugar in the raw or unrefined rock sugar for best results.

Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Bi Mu Da Kao} Ingredients
Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Bi Mu Da Kao} Ingredients

Rose Fermented Bean Curd {Fu Ru 腐乳} plays a crucial role flavoring Braised Squid

What is Fermented Bean Curd?

Fermented bean curd, or Fu Ru {腐乳} in Chinese, is an ancient food with thousands of years of history. They are tofu products gone through multiple fermentation processes and steps and then brined in rice wine, salt and water.

Red vs. White Fermented Bean Curd

There are two major types of fermented bean curd, red vs. white. When red yeast rice is used during fermentation process, the fermented bean curd turn into this beautiful red rose color. Otherwise, it is original white/yellow color.

People often call the red version Mei Gui Fu Ru {玫瑰腐乳} or Rose Fermented Bean Curd.

Rose Fermented Bean Curd for Shanghai style Braised Whole Squid
Rose Fermented Bean Curd for Shanghai style Braised Whole Squid

Why is fermented bean curd {Fu Ru 腐乳} good for you?

Fermented bean curd is rich in protein since it is soy bean based products. It also contains many essential vitamins such as B12 and minerals such as iron and calcium.

However, a word of caution, since it is usually extremely salty, a bit goes a long way.

We typically use fermented bean curd as a seasoning or condiment. When eating directly, it is usually to pair with unsalted porridge. Dip a tiny portion , which is already full of flavor by the way, and add to the spoonful of porridge.

Ba Bao Zhou {eight treasure porridge} with salted duck egg and rose fermented bean curd
Ba Bao Zhou {eight treasure porridge} with salted duck egg and rose fermented bean curd

How to cook Shanghai Style Braised Squid perfectly each time?

See the Recipe for a detailed step-by-step tutorial. Here are the key tips and tricks:

The first is to sear the squid for braised squid

Sear Whole Squid before braising
Sear Whole Squid before braising

Heat the pan at medium-high for 2 minutes, then add oil and stir fry spring onions, ginger, star anises and bay leaves for about 30 seconds or till fragrant. Following that, add the whole squid along with the tentacles, cook for 1 minute on each side.

The second is to braise whole squid in low heat

Braise Whole Squid in Low Heat
Braise Whole Squid in Low Heat

Pour the braising juice into the pan after you have properly seared the whole squid on both sides. Cover the pan with a lid and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. After that, turn the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Mix, flip and basting the squid with the braising juice in between.

Cool the squid in the braising juice before slicing them

Cool the braised whole squid in the braising juice before serving
Cool the braised whole squid in the braising juice before serving

Make sure you do not over-cook the squid by either cooking in high heat or cooking for prolonged time. Use a toothpick to test, if you can poke through the squid easily, they are done.

Remove the squid from the pan and place them into a large deep bowl along with all the braising juice and spices. Let them cool down at room temperature before slicing them and serving.

Re-arrange the squid body and tentacles and re-assembly into a whole squid for a nicer presentation.

Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao}
Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao}
Red Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao 比目大烤}

Braised Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao}

Yield: 2 whole squid
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Braised Squid is such a traditional and well-liked Shanghai style seafood dish. Known as Bi Mu Da Kao {比目大烤} in Chinese. We braise the whole squid in low heat first, let them cool down in the braising juice and then slice into serving bite-size rings. The squid slices are so soft and super flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole squid, fully cleaned
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 10 slices of ginger
  • 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 3 star anises
  • 3 bay leaves

For Braising Juice:

  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp regular soy sauce, or dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar in the raw
  • 2 tbsp rose fermented bean curd juice
  • 1 cup of water

Instructions

  1. Gather all the ingredients. Add everything under the "For Braising Juice" to a small bowl and set aside.
    Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Bi Mu Da Kao} Ingredients
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high, heat a 12-inch hard-anodized fry pan for 2 minutes.
  3. Spray about 1 tsp canola oil, use a mini silicone spatula to spread evenly. Add ginger, and about 80% of green onion, star anises and bay leaves, stir fry for about 30 seconds, or till fragrant. Leave some green onion for garnishing in the end.
  4. Add squid into the pan, let them cook for 1 minute.
    Sear Whole Squid before braising
  5. Flip the squid and sear the other side for 1 minute too.
  6. Pour the braising juice into the pan. Fold and mix the juice with the squid. Cover the lid and bring it to a boil, about 2 minutes.
    Braising the whole squid {Shanghai Style}
  7. Turn the heat to simmer, flip and baste the squid with the juice in the pan, cover the lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat to low, flip and baste the squid with the juice in the pan, cover the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.
    Braise Whole Squid in Low Heat
  9. Remove the squid from the pan and place into a large deep bowl along with all the braising juice and spices from the pan. Let it cool down at room temperature, about 20 minutes.
    Cool the braised whole squid in the braising juice before serving
  10. Slide the squid across the body into thin bite-size rings. Slightly cut the tentacles along their natural connecting point. Re-arrange the squid body and tentacles and re-assembly into a whole squid for a nicer presentation. Garnish with the remaining green onions.
    Braised Whole Squid {Shanghai Style Bi Mu Da Kao}
  11. All done! Enjoy a super delicious and soft squid.

Notes

  • Regular soy sauce, a.k.a Jiang You is naturally aged soy sauce, which is a traditional condiment used in China since ancient time. Light vs. dark soy sauce is modern time Cantonese invention. You can generally substitute regular soy sauce with dark soy sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1260mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 5g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Leave a Comment

You may also like

Skip to Recipe