Chef's Recipes

Stirfried calamari with chilli and black bean sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for stirfried calamari with chilli and black bean sauce by Tony Tan

By Tony Tan
  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 6 mins cooking
Stirfried calamari with chilli and black bean sauce
Stirfried calamari with chilli and black bean sauce

The trick to preparing calamari is to cook it quickly so it remains tender. Chinese cookbooks will often say to blanch it in boiling water to make it tender. This step is not necessary in this recipe because we use small calamari. This is a family favourite – the combination of garlic, ginger and black bean is irresistible.


  • 350 gm cleaned calamari, tentacles reserved
  • 80 ml vegetable oil (1/3 cup)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp very finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 long red chillies, minced
  • 2 tbsp salted black beans, rinsed and coarsely chopped (see note)
  • ½ small green capsicum, seeds removed, quartered and cut into 2cm lengths
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 80 ml chicken stock (1/3 cup)
  • 1 green onion, cut into 2cm lengths
  • To serve: steamed rice


  • 1
    Halve calamari tubes lengthways, score inside skin in a criss-cross pattern and slice into 4cm x 6cm strips.
  • 2
    Heat a wok over high heat, add vegetable oil and as soon as the oil starts to smoke, add onion, ginger, garlic, chilli and salted black beans. Stirfry for 15-20 seconds or until fragrant. Add capsicum and calamari and stirfry for 2-3 minutes or until calamari begins to curl. Add wine, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil and stock, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes or until reduced to a sauce consistency. Scatter with green onion and serve with rice.


Salted black beans (fermented and salted soy beans) are available from Asian grocers.

  • Author: Tony Tan