Chef Judi Shares: Chargrilled Calamari Steak & Sesame Soy Spätzle Noodles

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From the kitchen of Chef Judi.

I have worked in many kitchens, around the world but this Chargrilled Calamari Steak & Sesame Soy Spätzle Noodles is a dish of fond memories. It was my first signature dish I created on Mnemba Island in Tanzania, and it has travelled with me throughout my career.

The traditional spätzle noodles are European and it means little sparrows. I have put my own twist on it by taking these easy homemade noodles and turning it into an Asian stir fry dish.

This dish goes exceptionally well with calamari steaks, but don’t go dipping in the ocean if you can’t find it (it is lockdown afterall). Tofu, white fish, salmon or even chicken are equally great alternatives.

And on the subject of fish. At my restaurant, Pilcrow & Cleaver, we serve sustainable fish with the help of ABALOBI.

What is ABALOBI you ask?

ABALOBI, as a mobile app suite and programme, is aimed at social justice and poverty alleviation in the small-scale fisheries chain, transformation in the way we produce knowledge, stewardship of our marine resources, and resilience building in the face of climate change. Promoting traceable, storied seafood by empowered small-scale fishers from hook to cook, in a manner that is not only ecologically responsible, but also socially fair. Because who fishes matters.

Feeling like a fresh catch of the day and empowering small-scale fishers? Psst, you can order sustainable fish from ABALOBI Marketplace (download here).

Now, let’s get cooking.

Chargrilled Calamari Steak & Sesame Soy Spätzle Noodles

This recipe yields enough for 4 main course dishes. You can prepare the noodles in advance and dress it with sesame oil, to be stir fried at a later stage.


4  x 200g Calamari Steaks
4 x Spring Onion Stems (whole)
Sea Salt Flakes
Black Pepper Cracked
100ml Soy Sauce
100ml Sweet Soy
60ml Oyster Sauce
+/- 125ml Sesame Oil (in total)
1 Chili Sliced
1 Tablespoon Garlic (sliced into match sticks)
1 Tablespoon Ginger (sliced into slithers)
10 Pieces Tenderstem Broccoli (sliced in half)
8 Pieces Baby Corn (sliced in half)
2 x Limes
6 x Basil Leaves
1 Handful of Coriander Leaves

Ingredients for the Spätzle Noodles:
6 x Eggs
3 Cups of Flour
2 Cups of Milk
¼ tsp salt


1.First, make the noodles by making a well in the centre of the flour and salt. Mix the eggs and milk and combine it together to make a smooth sticky paste consistency (in order for it to be easily pushed through – not run through – the colander’s holes with a spatula).

2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil and get a colander ready to fit on top of the pot. The colander must not touch the water.

3. Turn the water down to a simmer and pour and push the noodle mix through the colander so that the batter forms neat little tear drops into the water. You need to do this in stages, the colander shouldn’t get too hot otherwise the noodle mixture will cook into the holes.

4. Once the noodles float, scoop them into a tray and dress with sesame oil so that they don’t stick together. Set aside to cool until you are ready to use it.

5. In a wok, add about 50ml of sesame oil, the garlic, ginger, chili and lightly fry, add your späztle noodles.

6. Add in the soy sauce, sweet soy sauce and oyster sauce, reduce the heat and coat all the noodles in the sauce.

7. Add in the broccoli and baby corn and turn down to simmer.

6. Get a griddle pan hot or a braai for your calamari steaks.

7. Season the calamari steaks with sea salt, pepper and lime juice.

8. Grill the calamari steaks for approximately 15 minutes and grill the spring onion at the same time.

9. Add the fresh basil, coriander and a squeeze of lime to the noodles and taste the combination of sweet, salty and a hint of spicy.

8. Serve the noodles on a plate, put the calamari steak on top and garnish with the grilled spring onion and fresh limes.