The freshest catch: crispy squid & noodle salad with chilli-lime dressing

If you want to know how hot a chilli is, taste it. If it’s hot, it’s worth removing the seeds before you add it to the dressing.

squid noodle salad
Nassima Rothacker

SERVES 2 AS A MAIN COURSE OR 4 AS A STARTER
TAKES 35 MINUTES

100g dried rice vermicelli noodles
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
300g squid, cleaned and tentacles and bodies separated
50g cornflour
150ml sunflower oil, for deep-frying
100g cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
2 spring onions, shredded
Large handful coriander leaves
30g roasted cashews
1 red chilli, sliced

CHILLI DIPPING SAUCE
1 red chilli, roughly chopped (deseeded if liked)
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fish sauce

  1. Place the noodles in a bowl, cover with just-boiled water from the kettle and soak for 8 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water then shake dry thoroughly and toss with the sesame oil; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile make the dressing. Place the chilli and garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt and pound to a rough paste. Stir in the lime juice, maple syrup and fish sauce. Taste and adjust accordingly – you may want to add a little more of any of the ingredients to balance the flavour.
  3. Slice open the squid tubes, open out flat and cut into bitesize squares (about 3cm), then score the outside surface in a crisscross pattern. Cut the tentacles into similar-sized pieces. Pat dry on kitchen towel, then dust all over with the cornflour, shaking off the excess.
  4. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a wok or deep frying pan. Fry the squid in 2 batches for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange the noodles, cucumber and most of the spring onion and coriander on plates, then spoon over most of the dressing. Arrange the squid on top and scatter with the cashews, chilli and remaining spring onion and coriander. Spoon over any leftover dressing and serve immediately.

Food styling: Katy McClelland. Styling: Lydia Brun. Tiles, diespeker.co.uk.