Kung Pao Calamari

Kung Pao Calamari

I was at a restaurant last week and saw a calamari dish go to another table. I had already ordered my food, and didn’t even notice this dish on the menu in the first place. It was filled with peppers and onions and looked to be doused in a chile sauce. I’m not sure if it was actually a kung pao calamari, but that’s what it looked like and I instantly wished it was coming to my table instead of theirs. I whipped up a version of this dish a few days later to satisfy the craving.

Peppers and celery hit the grill first.

Then the calimari. The grill should be super hot before you start cooking so the squid can get some browning and not just steam in its own juices.

After the calamari cooks for a few minutes, add the sauce. Its just chile garlic paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, honey, and rice vinegar.

Top with peanuts and scallions before serving.

Spicy, sweet, and tangy. I like this as an appetizer for a few people, but it would also be great served with rice for dinner.

Kung Pao Calamari

Spicy sweet grilled calamari with peanuts and scallions.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 3 people


  • 1.5 pounds cleaned calamari cut into rings and tenticles
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced jalapeno


  • 1/4 cup chile garlic sambol
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


  • peanuts
  • scallions
  • chili flake


  • Mix the sambol, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, mirin, and vinegar in a cup.
  • Heat a cast iron pan, flat grill pan, or wok to high heat.
  • Add some oil. Add the peppers and celery and cook 3 minutes.
  • Add the calamari and cook 5 minutes.
  • Add the sauce and cook 2 minutes.
  • Pour onto a serving plate and top with peanuts and scallions, and chile flake

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