Salads/ Seafood

Grilled Calamari and Prawn Thai Salad

Mastering Seafood

I’ve just started to teach a cooking class for adults called ‘Mastering Seafood’ and this is one of the dishes I taught in the first class. It’s an easy dish but it lets you brush up on your technique of how to cut open a calamari (squid) tube, score it and fry it lightly on the stove top.

When you cook with calamari, you can buy a ‘tube’ that has already been cleaned or you can ‘go for broke’ and clean one yourself, slicing off the head, removing the ‘beak’ and cleaning out the innards, etc. I showed the class how to do both techniques but I believe most people would prefer to buy an already-cleaned calamari.

This recipe oozes with flavours: the prawns and calamari are first marinated in a chili, garlic and ginger marinade; then lightly sautéed on the stovetop. They are then layered on top of salad greens that are mixed with some mint and basil; avocado slices and  toasted sesame seeds and peanuts are also featured in this dish.

I also showed the class how to bake a whole Snapper and how to make Crab Bisque (see my previous post ‘Crab Bisque and my blog 1-year anniversary’ for the recipe). I’ll be featuring some more recipes from my ‘Mastering Seafood’ class, so please stay tuned!

(P.S. When I sat down to eat this dish for my dinner, the whole plate fell face down onto the floor- prawns, calamari and everything went ‘splat.’ I remembered something about a ‘5-second rule’ and scooped everything up. It was still delicious! I guess even culinary teachers make mistakes).

 P.S. Would LOVE it if you’d Like my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page!

Calamari and Prawn Thai Salad
Serves 4
Delicious prawns and calamari marinated in a garlic, ginger and chili sauce; served on a bed on mixed greens with Thai flavors
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  1. 2 calamari tubes, cleaned
  2. 12 raw prawns or shrimp
For the Ginger and Chilli Marinade
  1. ½ fresh red chilli- chopped finely
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 tbsp fresh peeled ginger, chopped
  4. 25 ml olive oil
  5. 25 ml vegetable oil
  6. Salt to taste
For the Salad Dressing
  1. 30ml lime juice
  2. 30ml rice wine vinegar
  3. 30ml fish sauce
  4. 30g palm sugar
For the Thai Salad Greens
  1. Salad Greens to serve 4
  2. Coriander
  3. Thai basil (or ‘regular’ basil)
  4. Mint leaves
  5. 1 spring onion, sliced lengthwise in 3 cm strips
  6. Bean shoots
  7. 1 avocado
  8. 20g toasted peanuts, diced finely
  9. 20g sesame seeds
  1. To make the marinade, finely chop the chilli, ginger and garlic, then lightly sauté the mixture in a little olive oil on the stovetop for about one minute. Transfer to a food processor bowl and purée with the olive and vegetable oils until smooth.
  2. Cut through one side of a calamari tube, open it out and score the inside of the flesh using a diagonal criss-cross pattern (spacing the cuts about 2 mm apart). Peel and de-vein the prawns, leaving tail on. Add the prawns and calamari to the marinade and let set for 10-15 minutes to marinate.
  3. Dry roast (at 180 C) the sesame seeds and peanuts until golden brown- about 5-6 minutes.
  4. To make the dressing, combine the palm sugar, vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce in a small saucepan. Over medium high heat, whisk the ingredients until the sugar dissolves, continue to whisk, then reduce the heat and let the mixture reduce until it thickens a little. Let cool.
  5. Pan-fry the prawns and calamari in a little oil and butter, turning to cook on both sides. Only cook for a few minutes to avoid over-cooking.
  6. To prepare the salad, cut spring onion into 3cm batons and slice lengthways; add to salad greens along with some mint, basil and coriander and toss with about 3-4 tbsp. of the salad dressing (careful not to add too much dressing).
  7. To plate, add a bed of the tossed greens on a plate, add a few bean shoots on top, then several avocado slices. Arrange some calamari slices and prawns on top, sprinkle with some of the toasted sesame seeds and peanuts, then add a few more greens on top.
G'day Soufflé

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  • Reply
    [email protected] Riffs
    September 5, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    We have fairly clean floors (I suspect most of us do), so I always follow the 5 second rule, too. And although I know how to clean a whole calamari, I always prefer buying the “tubes” too. Anyway, wonderful dish! Good flavor, and I’d be happy to make — or be served — this.
    [email protected] Riffs recently posted…The Golden Dream CocktailMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 6, 2015 at 8:03 am

      Thanks John. The plate of food fell partially onto the carpet, so after that, there were a few extra ‘crunch bits’ in the recipe.
      Fran recently posted…Grilled Calamari and Prawn Thai SaladMy Profile

  • Reply
    Romy Flint
    September 6, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Oh boy does that sound like an amazing collection of flavors! I’ll try it!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Would love to join your class, your seafood recipes are always wonderful, Fran!
    I prepared the crab bisque already some time ago and can only recommend it, it turned out fantastic.

  • Reply
    Denise [email protected] Brazil To You
    September 7, 2015 at 9:31 am

    It looks so good, Fran! A perfect summer meal!
    Denise [email protected] Brazil To You recently posted…10-Minute, Healthy Fish Stew Packets (Moqueca En Papillote)My Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
    September 7, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    This is a class I would benefit from….to bad I don’t live anywhere close. I will just have to learn from your blog! My husband loves calamari, but I’ve never cooked it. I’ve always been way too intimidated. I need to give it a try!
    Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop recently posted…Apple FrittersMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chef Devaux
    December 16, 2015 at 11:34 am

    This seafood salad looks fantastic. and the flavours are incredible. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
    Chef Devaux recently posted…Salmon Dreams Sushi RecipeMy Profile

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