Curried Shrimp and Calamari Broodjes

Curried Shrimp and Calamari Broodjes
From Thom Lowe, via Tasting Table

Time for the March edition of “weird grocery purveyers in Chicago.”  Yes, I know, it’s April.  But you’ll just have to take my word for it that we made these on March 31, thus keeping up our promise to try one new mysterious way of buying groceries each month.

This month’s location was Rubino’s wholesale fish market in the West Loop.  A while back I spent every day taking the Halsted bus through the meat packing district of Chicago.  And every day I found myself staring curiously at the set of fish markets that dot the Lake and Halsted intersection, but never once dared to venture into one.  So for our final fish post of Lent we decided to take the plunge.

After the chicken slaughtering incident from last month, I was pretty much prepared for anything.  I’m not sure I’d have been shocked if they made me dive into a tank and wrangle my own fish.  But as it turns out, Rubino’s was a pleasant surprise.  It’s main function is wholesale fish distribution to the restaurants and grocery stores in Chicago.  But if you can find the random plastic flap-covered entrance off Lake Street, anyone is welcome to wander in and peruse the selection.  We stumbled in on Saturday afternoon and found ourselves in an unmanned room full of 20 kinds of fish and seafood strewn across bins of ice.  A box of disposable plastic gloves, bucket of ice and roll of plastic bags were our cue that it was a bag-your-own catch kind of joint.  We snagged some gorgeous shrimp and a few marlin steaks, but the squid we needed for this recipe were nowhere to be found.  We wandered through the building to find the cashier who informed us that squid was kept frozen in the back.  $21 later we walked out with 2.5 pounds of squid frozen into a solid block of ice, 2 halibut steaks, a third of a pound of shrimp and a new favorite seafood place.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp mild curry powder (we used Madras Curry Powder)
  • 3/4 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb squid, cleaned, bodies cut into rings, tentacles left whole (the way ours were, the tentacles had a harder part at the top, almost like a little skeleton or something – I know nothing about squid anatomy – and I cut that off)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, cut into strips
  • 8 slider buns or 4 regular buns


  1. Combine mayonnaise, curry powder, Sriracha and cardamom in a bowl.  Refrigerate.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onions start to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Raise heat to high and add shrimp, squid, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until seafood is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer mixture to a plate or wide bowl to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes.  When it is no longer steamy place the mixture in the fridge to cool completely, at least one hour.
  6. When ready to eat combine mayonnaise, seafood mixture, and green onions.  Serve on buns.

Serves 4.

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