How to make Squid, Mint and Coriander Salad with Roasted Rice


We have a new barbecue.

It was meant to be our Christmas present to each other last year, but hubby couldn’t decide what he wanted. He’s not great with decisions.

Anyways, we got this new barbecue the other week, and we built it from flat pack. Not only are we still married, but there was just one screw left over. That’s an achievement.

Miss 16 did remind me that I nearly lost it (my temper, that is) the second time we put the back plate on wrong, but I’m conveniently forgetting that part.

We christened it last weekend with some butterflied lamb and the usual suspects, but last night was the great seafood challenge…and this recipe.

This is one of those salads that feels special enough for a Saturday night after a hell of a week, yet is healthy and tasty, and completely non-guilt inducing.

Let’s not dwell too much on the Semillon that accompanied it.

I cheated a little, as I have a jar of roasted rice ready to go. It’s a rather special one from my Chin Chin cookbook….I’ll tell you about that shortly.

Oh, the recipe comes from Rick Stein’s Seafood Odyssey.

What you need for the salad:

  • 225 g small squid- ask the lovely person behind the counter to clean it for you. We used 2 squid tubes and about 12 king prawns for the 3 of us.
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Lettuce- we used a combo of butter and oak, washed and cut into wide strips
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and shredded
  • 1 handful of chopped mint leaves
  • 1 handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • a few teaspoons of roasted rice (see below)

What you need for the dressing

  • 1 long red chilli, sliced into rings. We used 2 small red chillis- ‘cos we like it hot.
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon caster sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk- white only, finely chopped

What you do with it

  • Cover the chilli slices with vinegar and allow to steep for about 30mins or so
  • Cut the squid into rings, or squares. If you’re doing squares, open the tube out flat and score the inside in little diamond patterns first.
  • Heat your pan over a high heat- unless, of course, you have a new barbecue and are using that…in which case, prepare the bbq.
  • Remove the chilli from the vinegar (you can save the vinegar for something else) and mix all the dressing ingredients together.
  • Toss the salad ingredients together, and plonk it onto a platter- more artfully than the word plonk would indicate. I like to toss the dressing through at this point.
  • Stir-fry the squid for a couple of minutes- that should be all it needs. Sprinkle with the cayenne, and then arrange into the salad.
  • Spoon over the roasted rice and you’re done.

For the ground roast rice

I keep this in a jar- probably for longer than I should…anyways, it adds an amazing nuttiness to salads, larbs and dressings…and is as simple as…

All you do is dry fry a cup of glutinous rice with a couple of chopped kaffir lime leaves, sliced lemongrass and some shaved galangal.

Keep stirring it about so it doesn’t stick- you want it to get a bit of colour and smell wonderful, but you don’t want it to blacken.

When it’s done, blitz it in a blitzer. Too easy.


Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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