Turmeric makes this Squid and Long Beans Stir Fry super flavorful and tasty. Perfect served with a bowl of fluffy steamed rice.
I have always enjoyed long beans and cannot resist bringing a bunch home whenever I see them at the Asian markets. Unfortunately, the regular grocery stores here do not carry them. As such, I only get to eat them when we make the trip to the Asian market which is once every few months.
Long Beans in Stir Fries
I usually stir fry long beans either with fermented soy beans like this Stir Fry Long Beans. At other times, I will stir fry them with fermented beancurd. This time round, I decided to try something different and I am glad I did. This Squid and Long Beans Stir Fry with ground turmeric was quick, easy, and super flavorful.
Turmeric Turning Red
Interestingly, the color of the squid turned an orange reddish color after the stir frying although I did not use any food coloring at all. A quick search on the internet brought me to this article. In a nutshell, the bright yellow color of turmeric comes from curcumin which is sensitive to the pH-value of its surroundings. At an alkaline pH (above 7) and with some heat, curcumin will turn a dark red color.
This probably explains why the dried cuttlefish sambal sold by the Mamak restaurants are often red in color. Dried cuttlefish is commonly soaked in lye water (kansui) or baking soda to soften and double in size. Both lye water and baking soda are alkaline.
So, why did the squid used in this recipe turned red? I used neither lye water, nor baking soda. Garlic is most likely the culprit! Garlic is considered an alkaline food. Mystery solved!
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Squid and Long Beans Stir Fry
- Cut open the squid. Score the inside with a criss-cross pattern and cut into 1 inch strips. Place in a bowl.
- Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, and ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric over the squid. Mix well with a spoon.
- Heat a wok or large fry pan. Add vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the wok or fry pan.
- Add garlic and sauté for 20 seconds. Then add long beans, remaining 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, and red chili. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
- Add remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to mix. Then push long beans to one side of the wok or large fry pan.
- Add prepared squid and water. Stir fry for another 2 to 3 minutes or until squid is cooked and curled and long beans are tender.
- Turn off stove and transfer vegetables to a serving dish.
This super tasty Squid and Long Beans Stir Fry is delicious with a bowl of fluffy steamed rice. Do give it a try.