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Vietnamese inspired calamari salad with mint and mango

Fresh mint ups the flavour ante while sweet and sour dressing gets a kick from the chili

Vietnamese inspired calamari salad with mint and mango
Photo by Ben Kiely.

Vietnamese inspired calamari salad with mint and mango

This salad is packed with flavour. I find it best if you ask your fishmonger to cut and score the calamari for you. I also like this salad with papaya or pineapple instead of the mango but the most important thing is the fresh mint and the balance of the dressing it should be sweet and sour with a kick from the chili.

Serves 4-6

Salad ingredients

1 lb calamari cut and scored
1 mango peeled and small diced
1 small bunch mint chopped
1 small bunch basil chopped
1 small bunch cilantro chopped
¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts
Vietnamese dressing (Nuoc mam cham)

Vietnamese dressing ingredients

¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp white sugar
½ cup water
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Method for Vietnamese dressing

Place the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and water in a small pan over a medium heat and stir to combine. Heat mixture to just below boiling point, then set aside to cool, add garlic, chili and lime juice and stir.

Method for the calamari

Take a large heavy bottom skillet pan and heat to a high heat, add the calamari and cook for 1-2 minutes until calamari curls up, place the cooked calamari in a bowl with mint, basil and cilantro add the diced mango and now dress the calamari salad with about 3 tablespoons of the Vietnamese dressing. Serve on a large platter in the middle of the table with more dressing on the side and sprinkle the calamari with the crushed peanuts.

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