After a mooch about Borough Market this morning, I came home with a couple of beautifully fresh squid (one of my absolute favourite foods) from Appleby's Fish stall, among other things. It has been a beautiful bright day, which put me in the mood to cook and eat something light, fresh and full of chilli heat. After a good root around my cupboards at home, I managed to pull together this rendition of spiced squid that is vaguely Thai inspired, as it takes in salt, sweet, spice and sour notes. The base of this salad is cucumber, cut into shards. I finished it off with chive stalks, Maldon salt flakes and a good squeeze of lime juice.
2 Medium Squid, gutted, membranes and quill removed and rinsed thoroughly.
I Banana shallot
3 cloves Garlic
I thumb sized piece of Ginger (or Galangal)
1 or 2 Red Chillies (depending on your preference for heat)
I tspn Tumeric
I Star Anise
1 tspn Pink Peppercorns
1 tbspn Nam Plah
2 tspn Mirin
1 tspn Demarera Sugar
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
Small bunch of Coriander
1 tbspn of light Olive Oil or Peanut Oil
Maldon Sea Salt
1. Clean the squid thoroughly, and flatten out the body. Score the surface with diagonal cuts to form a fine lattice. Cut the into 5cm strips. Separate the tentacles into two pieces. Set aside.
2. In a small frying pan lightly toast the pink peppercorns and star anise until they release their fragrance. Pound them in mortar and pestle to a rough 'dust'.
3. In a food processor place the chillies, banana shallot, garlic cloves, coriander stalks, and olive oil. Add the crushed spices and tumeric and blitz to create a paste.
4. In a non stick pan heat a tspn of oil and fry the paste on a med/high heat for 7/8 minutes until the mixture starts to soften. Add the nam plah and sugar, stir well and cook on a high heat for a futher 3/4 minutes. Add the mirin and keep stirring until the mixture starts to caramelise.
5. Add the squid to the pan, and cook on a high heat for 3/4 minutes until the squid curls into frond like pieces. Remove from the heat and squeeze over the lime juice and scatter with chopped coriander leaves.
6. Cut the cucumber into shards and divide between two plates.
7. Pile the squid on top of the cucumber and scatter the chives and a pinch of sea salt. Serve with a lime wedges.