© Tracey Kusiewicz
Squid salad with roasted rice
Fish and shellfish recommended by Vancouver's Ocean Wise program
Squid typically appeals to more adventurous eaters in North America. Besides pub-style calamari, this preparation is a gateway dish: forgo the tentacles if you think they look too intimidating in a salad. The roasted rice adds a nutty flavour and great texture — and will start a guessing game with your guests.
Substitutions: Scallops or shrimp for the squid. Try to get a Thai brand of fish sauce, it is not as strong-tasting.
For the dressing
1 medium hot pepper, thinly sliced into rings
¼ c. (60 ml) rice wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. (30 ml) fish sauce
2 tbsp. (30 ml) water
1 tsp. (5 ml) sugar
1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed and core minced
1 tbsp. (15 ml) sweet chili sauce
In a small bowl add the pepper slices to the vinegar and let steep for about half an hour. Combine the rest of the dressing ingredients in another small bowl and set aside.
For the squid
1 lb. (250 g) Humboldt squid tubes, cleaned and sliced into rounds
3 tbsp. (45 ml) peanut oil
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) hot dried chili flakes
Pat the dry tubes. Cut along one side of the squid tubes and open them out flat. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, score the inner tubes in a diamond pattern, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces.
Heat the oil in a heavy pan over high heat. Add the squid and sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with dried chili flakes, salt and black pepper. Cool at room temperature.
For the roasted rice
2 tbsp. (30 ml) long-grain rice
In a heavy (preferably cast-iron) small pan, add the rice and stir until golden brown. Transfer to a spice grinder and pulse — don’t grind into a powder. Or transfer the rice to a cutting board, cover with parchment paper and roll with a rolling pin until the rice is broken.
For the salad
1 romaine heart, cut into 4 wedges
1 c. (250 ml) julienned daikon
1 long English cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into long strips
4 green onions, julienned
¼ c. (60 ml) mint leaves, whole
¼ c. (60 ml) cilantro leaves, whole
Remove and discard the red pepper from the vinegar and add the vinegar to the rest of the dressing. Divide the lettuce wedges, daikon and cucumber amongst plates, and sprinkle with green onion, mint and cilantro leaves. Add the squid, along with the remaining peanut oil in the pan. Drizzle the dressing over the squid and sprinkle with the roasted rice. Serves 4.
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