All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Ika to tai bajiru no sotee / calamari and Thai basil sauté

A quick lunch I used to eat routinely at a local diner in Bangkok. The combination of somewhat sweet sauce with perspiration-inducing hot peppers and Thai basil is addictive. When I asked for four little Thai peppers in the dish after many months of gradually becoming accustomed to the spiciness, chef mom and her assistant daughter cheerfully clapped their hands.


150-200 g calamari
1/6-1/4 red onion
1 clove garlic
Handful (2-4 stems) bai horapa Thai sweet basil
3 prik ki nu Thai green chili peppers
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp nam pla fish sauce
1/2 tsp kurozu brown rice vinegar
1/4 tsp brown sugar
3 tbsp chicken stock
2 tsp oil (not in photo)


Clean and cut calamari into rings 2-3 cm wide.
Cut red onion into 2 cm wide wedges.
Finely chop garlic and prik ki nu (remove seeds for less spiciness).
Pick leaves of Thai basil from stems.

Mix oyster sauce, nam pla, soy sauce and brown sugar.


In a frying pan, heat oil, and saute garlic.

When garlic is fragrant, add red onion, and saute on medium to medium high heat until somewhat translucent.

Add calamari, and saute until somewhat opaque.

Add oyster sauce mixture and chicken stock, and cook for a few minutes.

Add basil and prik ki nu, mix, and remove from heat.


Serve with rice.

  • Saute red onion for only a short time for a pungent fresh taste, or longer for a sweeter taste.
  • Prik ki nu is small but very spicy. If unsure, use less initially.
  • This recipe is good with any seafood and deep-fried tofu (if tofu is not deep-fried, saute well until surface is golden first). If using chicken instead of seafood, I would add slightly more oyster sauce.

(Last updated: February 4, 2015)

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