Saturday, February 26, 2011

Grilled Squid and Melon Salad

I can't help it. I love squid. Well, really all seafood, but squid in particular holds a special place in my heart. I know, I know, it has a weird texture and it seems natural for us to balk at eating anything with tentacles, but all this ignores the simple fact that it's absolutely delicious.

But, I have to admit, even my boundaries were tested when I decided to attempt a grilled squid and melon salad. I know it's a classic. I know. Maybe it's just me, but they don't seem to be natural friends on a plate.

My courage got the best of me and I ended up trying it, enlisting my roommate and friend to be my co-guinea pigs.

And it was worth it. The marinade for the squid and melon go perfectly together. That sweet fiery taste highlights both in a way that borders on decadent. And then you put another fabulous dressing, made from lime juice and brown sugar on top of that. I mean, squid fan or no, you can't deny the flavor combination in this is anything but magnificent.

So I humbly present the Squid and Melon salad. I dare you, take the squid plunge. It will be worth it.


225g cleaned squid
1/2 honeydew melon, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 tbsp roughly chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves

for the marinade:
100 ml olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. sugar

for the dressing:
2 tbsp nam pia (Thai fish sauce)
2 tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red and 1 green chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
optional: 4 kaffir lime leaves (finely shredded)


Slit the squid open, cutting it into large rectangles and score it in a diamond pattern on the inner side. Leave the tentacles in large pieces. (Or, if your squid comes already cut into rings, simply score the inner side of them).

Mix all the marinade together in a large bowl, add the squid and melon and leave to marinate at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Heat the grill to its highest setting. Remove the squid and melon from the marinade, place on the grill pan and grill for 4-5 minutes. (Or, if you don't have a grill pan, simply use a saute pan on high heat, for no more than 4 minutes).

Transfer squid and melon to a bowl and sprinkle over the mint and coriander leaves.

Put all the ingredients for the dressing into a pan and heat gently. Pour the dressing over the squid and melon.

Leave to cool at room temperature before serving.

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