A recent Saturday morning found me wandering around Borough Market... With no plan in mind I ended up at the fishmonger purchasing a few baby squid.
One of my favourite Thai dishes is the yum nua or Thai beef salad. I also love it with squid instead of beef (yum pla muk) but I find it is a pricey dish for something that is 'just' a salad. The beef option typically costs £8 then add on a couple pounds if you choose the squid instead. I like it served with Thai sticky rice which is an addition £2-3. That is £10-12 for a salad, which hasn't taken much effort/skill and the ingredients are pretty cheap.
So...when I arrived home with my 4 baby squid I assessed the ingredients I had on hand and decided to try to make a Thai squid salad. It is ridiculously easy! Here is the recipe I used:
- 4 baby squid (or about one regular squid)
- 1 red onion (sliced thin)
- 1 carrot (shredded)
- 2 minced garlic cloves (optional...they won't be cooked!)
- handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 or 2 small chiles (minced)
- juice of one lemon
- coriander (chopped)
- lettuce leaves
- vermicelli rice noodles (or preferable Thai sticky rice)
I combined the onion, carrot, garlic, tomato, chile and lemon juice first to give the flavours some time to come together while I prepared the squid.
I cleaned the squid (the fishmonger did most of it) and then I sliced the bodies into rings. The tentacles had been removed, but you can slice and add them if you have them. I brought water to a boil and literally dipped the squid in. NOT MORE than 30 seconds. I rinsed them in cold water to stop the cooking and also to cool them down for the salad.
I added the cooked squid to the veggies that were waiting...
This salad is best served with Thai sticky rice...a glutinous rice that is typically steamed in little bamboo baskets. It has a slightly sweet taste to offset the spicy salad. It also has a bit of a sticky, chewy texture that I really enjoy. However, since I do not know how to make it and didn't have any, I served my salad with rice vermicelli noodles. I had dry ones on hand and simply soaked them in boiling water for three minutes and rinsed them in cold water. I layered the noodles on top of lettuce leaves, added the squid salad and then topped it with a small handful of chopped coriander. It ticks all the boxes. Fresh, delicious, healthy, easy, cheap, spicy (cut back on the chile if you are not in to spicy)!! If you have extra time and patience you can let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours so that the flavours come together a bit more.