Grilled Squid Salad

TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 35 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 3 hr
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 1 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup high-quality fish sauce, such as Three Crabs
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 pound squid, tubes only, cleaned and quills removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package tri-color cauliflower
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 pound okra
    • 1 small can tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted ground coriander
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted ground cumin
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 ounces pea shoots or arugula
    • Finely diced peel of 1 preserved lemon
    recipe tools


    Preheat a grill to high heat.

    For the sesame /marinade: Combine the sesame oil, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, mirin, red pepper flakes and garlic in a bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.

    For the squid: Toss the squid in the olive oil until coated and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Grill until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side; the squid will puff slightly. Slice the squid into rings. Marinate in the sesame marinade for 2 hours or up to overnight.

    For the cauliflower: Using a rasp grater, grate the cauliflower into small couscous-like pearls. You can mix the tri-color cauliflower together or keep separate for plating.

    For the raisins: Heat the white wine in a small pot until boiling. Remove from the heat and add the raisins. Cover and steep until well plumped, about 1 hour. Drain and set aside. (The raisins can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.)

    For the okra and tomato puree: In a large cast-iron skillet or similar pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Sear the okra, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly charred but not burnt. Reduce the heat to medium. Add in the tomato paste, sherry vinegar, coriander and cumin, cooking until the tomato paste turns rust-colored, about 5 minutes.

    Transfer the mixture to a food processor and slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil while processing to achieve a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a container and let cool to room temperature.

    To assemble the salad: Drain the marinade from the squid and discard the marinade.

    On 4 large plates, spread an even layer of the okra puree in the center of each plate. Evenly distribute the squid, cauliflower, raisins, pea shoots and diced lemon peel in an eye-pleasing manner on top of the puree.


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