Grilled Squid Salad with Fresh Herbs

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This quick and easy Grilled Squid Salad features squid cooked quickly over high heat to give it a little char and aroma. It is then tossed with plenty of refreshing herbs, roasted nuts and dressing for more flavors and textures.

a plate of grilled squid salad with dressing on the side

I got to try this delicious and interesting fusion squid salad at a local seafood restaurant, and here’s the version I recreated at home. The charred aroma of the squid, the refreshing scent of the herbs, together with crunchy roasted nuts and a bright ginger dressing make this salad taste sophisticated, more than just the sum of its parts.

Recipe Highlights

  • This is a quick and easy restaurant-quality squid salad.
  • It is delectable with layers of textures and beautiful visuals.
  • The salad has some fusion elements from Vietnamese cuisine which you will find out more in the Ingredients section below. It is also possible to omit these fusion elements if you want and the information is in the Substitutions section.

Recipe Video

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Ingredients

  • Squid (or calamari): I recommend scoring the squid, so that it will look prettier in the salad. It will also make the dressing cling to the squid more easily. You probably have seen me scoring squid in other recipes on the site such as steamed squid, squid stir-fry or seafood green mango salad.
scoring squid on a cutting board
  • Mint and other fresh herbs of your choice: here I use Vietnamese perilla leaves (tía tô) which add a bold flavor and purple accent to the dish. You can find it at some Asian grocery stores, but feel free to replace with your favorite combination of fresh herbs for salad.
  • Diced green apple or celery: the original salad I had at the restaurant used celery. I tested and also liked it with green apple. Both of them add crunchiness and freshness, so go with what you have on hand or prefer to use.
  • Roasted nuts: I use roasted peanuts, which is a typical topping for many Vietnamese salads, such as this easy carrot salad or rare beef salad.
  • Dressing: the dressing consists of oil, rice vinegar, grated ginger, and just a bit of fish sauce. I don’t think the fish sauce is a must, so replace it with salt if you are not a fan.
plates with ingredients for the grilled squid salad

How to Make Grilled Squid Salad

It is very straightforward and fast to put this grilled calamari salad together. I highly recommend cutting and preparing all ingredients before cooking.

1️⃣ Grill the squid over high heat very briefly, under 2 minutes, until the exterior has some char. Since the cooking time is very short, make sure your grill is very hot so that the squid is cooked through and can still get the char. Don’t overcook or it will be unpleasantly chewy.

grilling squid in a grill pan

Note: if you don’t have a grill or grill pan, you can try searing it in a heavy-bottomed skillet such as a cast iron. In the photo, I used a Staub grill pan.

2️⃣ Slice the squid into thin strips and toss everything with the dressing. Serve the salad right away.

slicing grilled squid into thin strips
tossing the ingredients with the dressing

Note: the salad is best when served immediately because the charred aroma of the squid may fade away over time. However, it is still delicious if served a bit later.

a plate of grilled calamari salad

Substitutions

  • You can use mint together with a different combination of fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, parsley, lemon balm and marjoram.
  • Instead of roasted peanuts, you can try roasted almonds or pine nuts.
  • If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can experiment with white wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, but make sure to adjust the quantity as needed.
  • If you don’t have or don’t like fish sauce, omit it and add more salt to taste.

Please find the detailed list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card below. I look forward to hearing what you think about this grilled calamari salad.

a plate of grilled squid salad (grilled calamari salad)

Grilled Squid Salad with Fresh Herbs and Ginger Dressing

This quick and easy Grilled Squid Salad features squid cooked quickly over high heat to give it a little char and aroma. It is then tossed with plenty of refreshing herbs, roasted nuts and dressing for more flavors and textures.
Author: Sophie
No ratings yet
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 lb cleaned and gutted squid
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 oz mint leaves, roughly chopped (about 1 cup loosely packed)
  • 0.75 oz other fresh herbs, roughly chopped (I use perilla leaves, see Notes for other options)
  • 1 small or medium green apple or 1 stalk of celery, diced (about 1/2 cup diced apple or 1/3 cup diced celery)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, lightly crushed (see Notes for substitutions)

For the Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons neutral-flavored vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or replace with salt to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated or finely minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Heat your grill pan (or your outdoor grill) over medium to medium-high heat until it is very hot.
  • Pat the squid dry. Lay the squid body flat on a cutting board with the inside surface facing you. Use a sharp knife to score diagonal cuts in a crisscross pattern, about ½-¾ inch apart, on the inside surface. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  • Toss the squid with teaspoon salt and teaspoon pepper.
  • Once the grill is very hot, oil the grates well. Increase the heat to medium-high or high, then add squid. Grill each side for 45-60 seconds or until just cooked through and lightly charred. Try not to overcook. Transfer to a clean cutting board.
  • Once the squid has cooled down slightly (enough to handle), slice into thin strips lengthwise, about ¼ inch thick.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add chopped herbs, sliced squid and diced green apple (or celery). Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until well-combined, then drizzle over the salad. Toss gently.
  • Transfer the salad to serving plates. Sprinkle roasted nuts on top and serve right away.

Notes

If you need guidance on how to clean whole squid, check out the video in my steamed squid recipe.
If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, you can try searing the squid in a heavy-bottomed skillet such as a cast iron.
Substitutions:
  • I use mint and Vietnamese perilla leaves. You can use mint with a different combination of fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, parsley, lemon balm and marjoram.
  • Instead of roasted peanuts, you can try roasted almonds or pine nuts.
  • If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can experiment with white wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, but make sure to adjust the quantity as needed.
  • If you don’t like fish sauce, omit it and add more salt to taste.
Some small tips:
  • Use a sharp knife to chop the herbs to avoid bruising them.
  • Place diced green apple in a bowl of lightly salted water until you are ready to use them to prevent them from turning brown.

Nutrition

Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 264mg | Sodium: 777mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1586IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Keyword: grilled calamari salad
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⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

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