Countdown to Christmas - Rick Stein's squid, mint and coriander salad
Watch Rick Stein make this light salad, full of texture and flavour - it's a perfect starter to any festive lunch.
Recipe - Serves: 4
225 g (8oz) prepared small squid
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons long grain rice
1 Romaine lettuce heart, cut across into wide strips
4 spring onions, trimmed, halved and finely shredded
A handful of mint leaves
A handful of coriander sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 red finger chilli, thinly sliced into rings
50 ml (2 fl oz) white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon caster sugar
1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed and the core very finely chopped
1. Cut along one side of each squid pouch and open it out flat. Score the inner side into a diamond pattern with the tip of a small, sharp knife, then cut the squid into 5cm (2 inch) squares. Separate the tentacles, if large. Season with a little salt and pepper.
2. For the dressing, cover the chilli slices with vinegar and leave to steep for half an hour.
3. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the squid and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with the cayenne and leave to cool, but don’t refrigerate.
4. Meanwhile, heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Add the rice and toss for a few minutes until it is richly browned and smells nutty. Tip into a mortar or mug and pound it with a pestle or a rolling pin end to break it up. Don’t grind it into fine powder.
5. To serve, toss together the lettuce, spring onions, mint and coriander and spread on a large oval platter. Scatter over the squid and any oil left in the pan.
6. Lift the chilli slices out of the vinegar but keep the vinegar for the next time. Mix the rest of the dressing ingredients, spoon over the squid and sprinkle with the roasted rice. Serve straight away.