If I didn’t live in Hawaii I’m pretty sure that I would have skipped right over this recipe. I’m the first to admit that spinach, squid and coconut milk doesn’t necessarily sound like the most appealing combination. But luckily we have a very similar dish in Hawaii, squid luau, which comes standard on most Hawaiian buffets that I know and love.
The original recipe used taro (also called luau in Hawaii) leaves, but I’m guessing that few of you have access to fresh taro leaves like I do. But the spinach is an excellent substitution and even easier to use and cook.
What to eat it with? Because Hawaiian plate lunch combinations are ingrained into my brain, my vote will always go to kalua pork, rice, and lomi salmon. Forget pineapple chicken- this is the true taste of the Pacific.
Creamy Coconut Spinach with Squid
Yield: 6-8 side servings
* 2 pounds baby spinach leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 Tablespoons butter
* 1 onion, diced
* 1 pound calamari/squid, cut into thin rings
* 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (about 1-2/3 cups)
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
Bring one cup of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the spinach, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and drain.
In a large saute or frying pan heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent. Add the calamari and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the drained spinach, coconut milk, the remaining salt and the sugar and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to simmer until most of the liquid had evaporated.
Adapted from Sam Choy's Polynesian Kitchen