Introduction: Thai Squid Salad

About: I helped start Instructables, previously worked in biotech and academic research labs, and have a degree in biology from MIT. Currently head of Product helping young startups at Alchemist Accelerator, previous…

A quick, spicy squid salad with a citrus bite.

Step 1: Clean and Chop Squid

Pull the head/tentacles away from the body. Scoop any remaining guts out of the body, and remove the thin plasticy quill. Rinse the body inside and out, then slice into approximately 3/4-1 inch thick rings.

Squeeze behind the head to extrude the beak, and remove it from the center of the tentacles. Cut just below the eyes to free the tentacles, then add them to the bowl with the body rings.

Tentacles are the best part. No, really- they're fantastic.

Step 2: Boil Squid

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a bit of salt and a bit (1-2 Tablespoons) of wine or citrus juice.

Drop the squid into the water in batches, removing it just as it turns opaque. This should take less than a minute, so be ready with a slotted spoon.

Deposit the cooked squid on a paper towel to cool and dry.

Step 3: Make Sauce

juice of 2 limes
~1 Tablespoon hot chili/garlic sauce (sriracha)
~1 teaspoon sesame oil
~1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (or to taste)
~1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely minced (zest from those limes makes a fine substitute)
3 finely minced shallots
2 Tablespoons brown or palm sugar (honey or agave nectar are good substitutes)
handful fresh mint, finely minced
handful fresh cilantro, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

Stir it up and taste. It should be aromatic, spicy, and acidic with a touch of sweet. Adjust the seasonings as necessary to make the sauce taste good to you.

Note that I resisted the temptation to add a grated garlic clove to the mix- there's already garlic in the sriracha, and I didn't want to overpower the squid.

Step 4: Add Squid and Marinate

Add squid and give it a stir. Let it sit in the marinade for a bit, preferably in the refrigerator for about half an hour. More marination certainly won't hurt; you can leave it overnight if you like.

Step 5: Serve

Serve cold. The longer the squid marinates the better the flavors will penetrate. This will keep for a day or two, but like any seafood it shouldn't be left to moulder in the refrigerator. We've never had any problems of this type, as this salad disappears quickly.

Garnish with any of the herbs used in the salad and serve on funny-looking plates. For best results, make sure all the tentacles are showing.