Stuffed Squid in the style of Sarde in Saor

stuffed squid tubes

I fashioned this dish on the Venetian sarde in saor, which is a salty, sweet and sour dish featuring sardines, grilled and topped with sweet cooked onions, pine nuts and sultanas. It may look like an unusual combination on face value, but works so very well together.

Click here for images of a similar stuffed squid dish and others, I prepared with Enrica Rocca in a cooking class in Venice.

I stuffed the squid tubes with pine nuts, sultanas, feta, lemon thyme and Lucky Star smoked mussels. I served this with a reduced red wine vinegar sauce. The flavour profile is salty, sweet and slightly sour. The slightly smoked mussels also add another flavour dimension. It’s quick to assemble and fries in a matter of seconds. The toothpicks used to seal the squid also make a convenient way to carry the food – cocktail food potential.

ingredients for stuffed squid


Serves 3 as a snack

200 g squid tubes or 12 small size (cleaned, washed and dried)

2 T olive oil

For the filling:

3 T sultanas

3 T pine nuts

1/2 cup feta, chopped into small cubes

3/4 can Lucky Star mussels, oil drained

1 t lemon thyme leaves (regular thyme also fine)

1 large lemon, zested

For the red wine vinegar reduction

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

25 ml sugar

stuffed squid ready for frying


1. Mix all the stuffing ingredients into a bowl with a fork.

2. Stuff a teaspoon of the mixture into the squid. Seal at the top with a toothpick.

squid stuffed with feta

3. Heat a non-stick frying pan to high, add oil and fry for 40 seconds a side or until the squid has browned. Remove, set on paper towels and keep warm. The tubes will start to puff up and sizzle like crazy, so be careful of oil splashes.

pan fried squid

4. Add sugar and vinegar to a pan and simmer on medium heat, stirring until it thickens, roughly 8 minutes. Sauce thickens even more on cooling. Serve the squid warm with the sauce from the pan drizzled over.

squid with red wine vinegar reduction

 I was hired to develop this series for Lucky Star

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