Thai Calamari Salad with Lemon Grass
We love Calamari for its ease of preparation and wide availability. This recipe combines Calamari with classic Thai flavors like Kaffir Lime, Lemon Grass, Chilies, and Fish Sauce. It pairs well with a nice cold pale lager like Singha or Chang.
Ingredients (6 servings)
1 lb Calamari tubes
1/2 oz Cellophane Noodles (also called Bean Threads or Fun See)
1/2 cup warm water
1 stalk fresh Lemon Grass, finely chopped (see notes)
3-4 Kaffir Lime Leaves, finely chopped
1 medium White Onion, thinly sliced
6 tsp fresh Lime Juice
1-2 Tbl Fish Sauce (depending on your taste)
1-5 Thai Chilies (or substitute Jalapeño, Fresno, or Habanero if not available), seeded and chopped (depending on your courage)
20-25 Mint leaves, coarsely chopped
8-10 springs Cilantro, chopped
1-2 Scallions, finely chopped
4-6 small Lettuce leaves
Rinse calamari in cold water. Cut into 2" sections and lay on a flat surface. Lightly score the sections in a diagonal crosshatch pattern every 1/4 inch. Set aside.
Soak cellophane noodles in warm water for around 12-15 mins. Drain and cut into 3" lengths.
In a small saucepan bring water to a boil and add calamari. Cook for 3-5 mins until opaque. Drain and set aside.
Combine lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, onion, lime juice, fish sauce, and chilies. Allow to stand for a while to allow flavors to meld.
Just before serving, combine all the ingredients (except lettuce) together and mix well. Let stand for a bit for calamari to absorb the flavors.
Garnish with sliced cucumber, lime wedges, and chilies. Serve with lettuce leaves for utensils.
Because lemon grass is so fibrous, we usually beat it with a mallet, pestle, or even a hammer from the utility drawer before slicing/chopping.