Calamari salad with apple, cucumber and nasturtium
Photo by Tam West
Following a Christmas holiday to Thailand that was a sensory feast, the family’s tastebuds are on hyper-drive and we have been seeking punchy Thai flavours. Our daughter, Zoya, loves crumbed calamari rings and orders them from every menu she finds them on. This calamari salad with a punchy dressing satisfies our cravings. Both Zoya and our 2-year-old, Roan, loved this as it has apples and cucumber, which are more kid-friendly than a lettuce-based salad. Younger kids can help peel the cucumber and make the dressing, older kids can whip up the whole salad by themselves, under supervision.
|400 g||Squid, gutted and cleaned|
|1||Telegraph cucumber, peeled, cut into chunks|
|1||Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks|
|20||Nasturtium leaves, washed in ice water|
|100 g||Radishes, quartered|
|1 bunch||Chives, small|
|1 drizzle||Olive oil|
For the dressing
|90 g||Crunchy peanut butter, we use Pics|
|50 ml||Coconut milk|
|1 handful||Coriander leaves, and stalks, roughly chopped|
|2 cm||Fresh ginger, peeled|
|½||Small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped|
|1||Lemon, zest and juice|
|1½ tsp||Brown sugar, or grated palm sugar|
|1 Tbsp||Fish sauce|
|1 Tbsp||Soy sauce, or tamari|
|1 tsp||Ground cumin|
|1 tsp||Ground coriander|
|½ tsp||Ground turmeric|
- Lay the squid flat on a chopping board, slit one side to butterfly it open. With a sharp knife score the squid on the inside making x shapes lightly, taking care to not fully cut the squid flesh. Cut each squid tube into 4 uniform slices.
- Blitz all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor until you have a smooth consistency. Check seasoning and add salt if required.
- Prepare all vegetables and herbs. Cut the white part of the leek and slice it into 1cm rounds. Caramelise the leek rounds in a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
- This dish should be assembled just prior to eating or the squid will get cold and tough. There are two ways of cooking squid — one is long and slow and the other is a quick sear method. For this recipe we use the quick sear method. In a cast iron pan or skillet, lay the squid, scored inner-side down, on a high heat. Once the squid starts curling, quickly flip it to the other side and sear for 5 seconds. Drain on a paper towel.
- Arrange all ingredients on a serving platter. Dress with the dressing and enjoy immediately.