Black pepper and lime squid stir-fry with runner beans and rice noodles

Swap black pepper beef for this black pepper and lime squid stir-fry.
Swap black pepper beef for this black pepper and lime squid stir-fry. Photo: Katrina Meynink

In the flash of a pan, this stir-fry balances heat, caramelisation and smoke, ticking off the flavour pillars of sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Runner beans can be replaced with green beans if unavailable.



3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)

2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed

3 makrut lime leaves, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup ricebran oil

1 tsp brown sugar


200g vermicelli rice noodles

300g squid, cleaned

1½ tbsp ricebran oil

1 small handful of runner beans, cut into 5cm lengths

2-3 makrut lime leaves, deveined and roughly chopped

coriander, Thai basil and mint leaves, to scatter

lime halves


1. Add all the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor and blitz until thoroughly combined.

2. Cook the rice noodles according to packet instructions.

3. Using a sharp knife, cut the squid tube through one side and lay the piece flat. Score the inside-side of the squid into a crosshatch pattern, scoring three-quarters of the way through so that the pieces will curl as they cook. Cut the scored squid into 4cm square pieces. Blanch the squid in a saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and pat dry with paper towel.

4. Place a wok or frypan over high heat. Add the oil and once shimmering, add the squid and runner beans. Cook for about 30 seconds or until the squid takes on some golden colour. Pour over the sauce and cook for an additional minute.

5. Divide the reserved noodles between bowls and top with the stir-fried squid. Generously season with additional pepper and scatter over lime leaves and herbs, if using. Place a lime wedge on the side and serve.