Southeast Asian Squid Salad Recipe

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably nam pla)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 (1 1/2- to 2-inch-long) fresh Thai or serrano chiles, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lb medium squid (about 16), rinsed inside and out
  • 2 carrots, halved crosswise
  • 1 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), halved crosswise
  • 1 (6 oz) head of Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts (2 oz)
  • Accompaniment: lime wedges
  1. Whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar (to taste), salt, and chile (to taste) in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.
  2. Pull off and reserve flaps from squid bodies if attached. Cut squid bodies crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rings and halve flaps lengthwise. If tentacle clusters are large, halve lengthwise and cut longer tentacles, if attached, crosswise into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Bring a 4- to 5-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in squid and cook until it just turns opaque, about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Drain well, then toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons dressing (reserve remainder).
  4. Cut carrots and cucumber lengthwise into thin wide ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
  5. Toss together carrot and cucumber ribbons, lettuce, cilantro, mint, and scallions in a large bowl, then add squid and reserved dressing and toss again to coat. Sprinkle squid salad evenly with peanuts before serving.