Squid Risotto

This entry is filed under Fish Recipes.



Occassionally, we’d collect our yacht charter guests from the super exclusive Gritti Palace in Venice. On one occasion, Lisa Minnelli and Gregory Peck stepped off a gondola and swiftly disappeared inside the hotels cool, elegant interior. It was one of those blink-and-you’d-miss-it experiences. Another equally memorable occasion was enjoying a plate of Risotto Nero (squid cooked in black ink) at the infamous Harry’s Bar. I can still taste it to this day.

Now I’m not suggesting my squid risotto is in the same league. For a start it doesn’t contain any squid ink and I use frozen squid from the supermarket, but it’s pretty good all the same and makes a quick and tasty supper.

Plus it’s quick. You don’t have to stand there for 20 minutes ladling in the stock a little at a time. Just boil the rice and let the friction do the work of breaking down the starches for you. I’ve been making risotto like this for years and being ‘a cooking anorak’ I tested out my theory, cooking one the traditional slow way and the other my quick way. And guess what?  No one could tell the difference, the texture and taste were identical!

However, what is important, is the stock you use and no I don’t expect you to make your own! Not when you have this handy bottle at your disposal. Whatever you do, don’t confuse Knorr liquid stock with those vile, commercial tasting  Knorr stock cubes whatever Marco Pierre White says! He’s only interested in the £££’s the advertising brings!

knorr-stock1Instead, look for the brown glass bottles which have Knorr ‘Touch Of Taste’ concentrated liquid stock on the label. I promise it makes a world of difference to the end result. Better still, use Squid Brand fish sauce, if you can get hold of some. It’s another must have storecupboard ingredient available online and at some of the larger supermarkets and works well in this recipe.

Serving Size: 2 portions
Preparation & Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Effort Level: Dead easy
Shelf Life: 2 days in the fridge.  Doesn’t freeze
400g squid (fresh or frozen)
150g arborio rice
100ml vermouth
1 onion
4 fat garlic cloves
1 tbsp ‘Knorr’ liquid fish stock or Squid Brand fish sauce
3 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Small bunch flat leaf parsley
Splash basil oil (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Chopping board and sharp knife
Frying pan
Slotted spoon

Here’s What You Do:
Half fill the kettle and put onto boil.

Tip the squid into a small saucepan add 1 tbsp Squid Brand fish sauce or Knorr liquid fish stock, cover with 500ml boiling water and place over a high heat.

Next, finely chop 1 onion and garlic and tip into the frying pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and fry gently for a few minutes. 

Check the squid, it should be just cooked through. Don’t overcook or it’ll become rubbery. Keeping the stock, lift out the squid with a slotted spoon and put aside to cool.

Now tip the rice into the frying pan and stir for a couple of minutes.

Next add 100ml vermouth and increase to a high heat, boiling rapidly until the vermouth reduces to a syrup. Then pour in the hot squid stock and boil briskly for approx 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile slice the squid and put aside.

Skin the tomatoes with a sharp knife and chop the flesh including the seeds into dice, then stir into the rice.

Now finely chop the parsley and put aside

Check the risotto, the texture should be creamy and slightly sloppy with the rice just cooked through, (al dente). Now tip in the squid and stir through the rice.

Add a splash of basil oil (if using) or olive oil, plus the chopped parsley and stir. Check the seasoning and serve. Voila!

10 Responses to “Squid Risotto”

  1. Uma says:

    In an ideal world I completely agree, but as most of us are time short these stocks do the trick perfectly. As my motto goes it’s all about ‘Maximum benefit for minimum effort’!

  2. Drew says:

    I like this recipe but my preference is to finely chop onion, carrot and either leek or celery to provide a base flavour, then the quality of the stock is less important.

  3. Uma says:

    Many thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

  4. D White says:

    Wow I did this this evening and it was delicious , thank you.

  5. fluffyb says:

    Hi Nick
    Surely you can’t mean that MSG is good for one! My granny said it made my grampy’s ears fall off.

  6. Nick Eskins says:

    Stock cubes actually have Yeast extract and ‘flavouring’ to make them taste nice, along with a token amount (5%) of meat powder for credibility but strangely none of the enhancers, which provide the umamic hit.

    With regard to are they better then ,well that depends how ‘dangerous’ & ‘deadly’ you think the other products are.
    This may help:
    What will not kill us:

    GMO products
    Sodium 5 Ribonucleotide
    Stock cubes

    What will kill us:

    Al Queda
    Carbon monoxide from four wheel drive vehicles, driven by people in the Cotswolds that are more concerned about MSG as a health issue (yes I have one!! but at least it is a proper FWD and not one from Kensington!)
    An escaped rhinoceros

    Etc., etc ., we need two things

    1. A more informed level of understanding about basic things like food
    2. Less paranoia
    3. Abolition of tabloid newspapers

  7. Uma says:

    You are so right Nick. But what’s in all those nasty little stock cubes that’s what I’d like to know. Perhaps the nice people at Taste Connection could tell us that?

  8. Nick Eskins says:

    Hi Uma

    The reason it (Knorr touch of taste) taste so good is because of the MSG! and Sodium Ribotide flavour enhancers – It’s what we desire, I keep telling people this.

    Our approach to food ingredients in the UK is like our British approach to sex, we deny it is going on but like it really, it’s the same as our love affair with MSG!

    Knorr ‘touch of taste ingredient declaration’ Water, Salt, Chicken, Sugar, Flavourings, Yeast Extract, Modified Starch, Chicken Fat, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium 5 – Ribonucleotide), Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Turmeric, Herb and Spice Extracts (Pepper, Sage, Celery, Tarragon), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate).
    Contains <10% Meat.

    The 14% salt helps too lovely stuff!

    We all need to talk more!!!


  9. Julia says:

    I was thinking the very same. tut tut! Only joking.

  10. Uma Wylde! your emails are very saucy, love getting them in my inbox!
    Sean x

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