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Spicy Thai Squid with Chiles and Cilantro


By Melissa Clark
As Ms. Clark wrote in The New York Times, “This tangy squid salad has shallot for sweetness, chilies for heat, lime juice and zest for tang, and peanuts for crunch.”
“Combined, they make for a deeply flavored and utterly refreshing dish. Here the salad is served as an hors d'oeuvres, either piled on cucumber rounds or scooped into shot glasses and served with a fork. But it's also excellent as a first course served over Boston lettuce leaves.”

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Makes 8 servings


Photo by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

1/2 Tablespoon peanut oil* for flavor (or 1/2 tablespoon of olive or macadamia nut oil)
Salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, and minced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
Cucumber rounds or shot glasses, for serving
Chopped roasted peanuts, for serving (optional)

*Peanut oil is very high in omega-6 fatty acids (see “America's Sickening Omega Imbalance”). We recommend using just 1/2 tablespoon to add authentic Thai flavor, and substituting low-omega-6 olive or macadamia nut oil for the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of the recipe's total of 2 tablespoons.
  1. Rinse squid under cool running water. Drain and transfer them to a paper towel to dry completely. Cut bodies into 1/2-inch rings and halve tentacles.
  2. Place a large skillet over high heat. Let pan get very hot, heating it for a good 5 minutes. Move half the squid from the paper towels to a bowl, so they don't stick when you slide them into the pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Season squid with salt, slide them into the pan, and cook without moving for 1 minute. Flip squid and cook 30 seconds more. Repeat with remaining squid and oil. Don't overcrowd the pan; if your skillet doesn't fit the squid comfortably, cook them in smaller batches.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cooked squid with lime juice and zest, fish sauce, shallot, jalapeño and cilantro. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour (or refrigerate for up to 6 hours, then bring to room temperature before serving). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve mounded onto cucumber rounds or scooped into shot glasses (and served with a fork), with peanuts sprinkled on top.
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