|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 appetizers (4 servings)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 3g||4%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 42g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||24%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
A spicy, bright Vietnamese calamari salad that just may be the perfect summer appetizer: Done right, the squid is almost buttery, the ginger snappy, the chiles warm and the cucumbers cool. The dressing -- based off a dipping sauce developed by Sacramento, CA, chef Mai Pham -- is garlicky and sweet, and cilantro adds an herbal touch. You can substitute in mint or basil (especially Asian basil) if you don't like cilantro. This recipe serves 4 as an appetizer.
- 1 lb squid (cleaned)
- 1 piece ginger (1 inch, peeled)
- 1 shallot (finely chopped)
- 1 small chili pepper (such as a cayenne, Thai or habanero)
- 1 medium cucumber (peeled)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped, or mint or basil)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 small chili peppers (such as a cayenne, Thai or habanero, chopped)
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (Asian)
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice (with a little pulp)
- 3 Tbsp. water
- Gather the ingredients.
- Rinse the squid well under cold water; make sure the insides of the tubes are clean. You can peel the skin off the squid, but I don't -- I like the way it looks. Slice the tubes into thick rings and set aside.
- Bring a pot of salty water (it should taste like the sea) to a boil.
- Slice the ginger into very thin strips, as thin as you can make them. Slice the chiles into very thin rings, or if you are using a habanero, tiny chunks. A whole habanero will make this dish very hot, so I'd use just half if you are going this route.
- Remove the seeds from the cucumber and cut it into thin slices, or chop it into small dice. Either way is fine.
- To make the dressing, mash the garlic cloves and the 2 other chiles (or other half of the habanero) in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one, chop everything up very finely and mash it with the flat side of your kitchen knife.
- Add the honey and grind it into the chile-garlic mixture, or mix it with the chile-lime paste in a small bowl. Then add the fish sauce, water and lime juice and stir well to combine.
- To cook the squid, toss it into the boiling water and let it cook for no more than 30 seconds. I cook my calamari for only 15 seconds. Really. It really only takes that long to get buttery squid.
- Finish the salad by tossing all the ingredients together in a bowl and serving. You can chill the salad in the fridge for up to a day before serving, and it tastes equally well cold or at room temperature.
- To drink, I'd propose an off-dry Gewurztraminer or a California Roussane if you're a wine drinker. But I prefer a frosty pilsner or lager beer with this dish.