I've been a stay-at-home mom for exactly a year now. I would like to report that it is rewarding to be such an integral part of my children's lives. They are turning into little adults who are responsible, loving and smart ... and it's all thanks to me (and maybe the husband too). However, it is 11:45 pm and it's the only time I have to myself where I'm not answering endless questions, wiping a body part, or finding a missing sock. Life is still equally exhausting as if I had a full-time job, but it is sure as hell a lot more fulfilling.
Onto the food...
Vietnamese stuffed calamari or Muc Nhoi Thit is one of my favorite appetizers. It is calamari stuffed in a pork, noodle and mushroom mixture. The calamari is first steamed. Then it is quickly fried or grilled to get a nice sear and lovely color on the outside. I love eating these stuffed calamari wrapped in lettuce and Vietnamese herbs with a dipping sauce on the side. It is the perfect Vietnamese appetizer for a fancy occasion.
Vietnamese Stuffed Calamari Recipe (Muc Nhoi Thit)
30 small to medium cleaned calamari (you can purchase already cleaned calamari in the frozen section of an Asian supermarket)
1/2 lb ground pork plus any tentacles that came attached to the calamari (minced)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 shallot (diced)
2 stalks green onion (minced thinly)
1/2 cup bean thread noodles (soaked in warm water for 10 min, drained then minced)
1/4 cup wood ear mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 10 min, drained and minced)
Combine the pork, minced tentacles (if any), fish sauce, ground pepper, sugar, salt, shallot, green onions, bean thread noodles and wood ear mushrooms.
Let the pork mixture marinate for at least 5 minutes.
Stuff the calamari using a small spoon or a piping bag. Seal the calamari by threading a toothpick at the end.
In a frying pan on medium high heat, add the stuffed calamari. No need for oil. Cover the pan with a lid and steam the calamari for 10 minutes. This will evenly and perfectly cook both the pork and calamari without drying them out.
To add color to the calamari, you can either fry it with a bit of vegetable oil or grill until golden brown.
Slice to the desired thickness and serve with fish sauce dipping sauce.