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Calamari, cucumber and pineapple stir-fry

Excerpted  from Secrets  from  My  Vietnamese  Kitchen: Simple  Recipes  from  My  Many  Mothersby Kim  Thuy.  Copyright  © 2017  Editions  Libre  Expression. Translated  from  the  French  by  Sheila Fischman.  Recipes  translated  by  Marie  Asselin. Appetite  by  Random  House  edition  published  in 2019. Food Photography by Sarah Scott. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.



  • 455 grams U10 calamari tubes
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into eight wedges
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced into half-moons
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 stalks Chinese celery, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, to taste
  • Dipping fish sauce for serving

Dipping fish sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, rice vinegar, or white vinegar


  1. Pat the calamari tubes dry. Cut open one side of each calamari and pat the insides dry.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, score the inside surface of each calamari in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut all the way through. Cut each scored calamari into five centimeter squares. Set aside.
  3. Slice the pineapple in half lengthwise, then cut each piece into one centimeter thick pieces.
  4. Heat a splash of oil in a large nonstick skillet set over high heat. Add the calamari, smooth side down, and cook for two minutes, or until each piece curls upon to itself. Remove and set aside.
  5. Add more oil to the skillet, if necessary, then sauté the onions and garlic for one minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes, pineapple, and cucumber, and cook for two minutes.
  7. Pour in the fish sauce and rice vinegar, then add the Chinese celery. Season generously with black pepper and keep cooking, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the reserved calamari.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately, with small bowls of dipping fish sauce on the side.

You can replace the Chinese celery with lovage or regular celery leaves. You can also substitute frozen calamari rings for the U10 calamari.


  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Store in an airtight container for up to one month in refrigerator