Grilled Squid Salad

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This classic Korean side dish (or appetizer) stars squid mixed with crunchy grated carrots and pine nuts, then moistened with a spicy soy dressing. One key is to grill the squid very quickly over blazing high heat to create some charring on the surface before the interior is overcooked.

Grilled Squid Salad
photographer: Ken Burris
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 90 minutes (30 minutes prep)

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Korean chile powder (see Notes)

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger

  • 1 pound cleaned squid tubes and/or tentacles (see Notes)

  • 1/4 cup grated carrot

  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (see Tip), finely chopped

  1. Whisk canola oil, vinegar, chile powder, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and ginger in a medium bowl. Set aside about 3 tablespoons in a small bowl for dressing.

  2. Add squid tubes and/or tentacles to the remaining marinade. Turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

  3. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to grill, preheat a gas grill to high or prepare a charcoal fire. Brush the grill rack clean.

  4. Lift the squid pieces one at a time from the marinade, letting the excess liquid drip back into the bowl. (Discard the marinade.) Grill the squid, turning once or twice, until lightly charred but still tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board; cut tubes into bite-size rings and leave tentacles whole or cut in half, if desired. Place in a medium bowl with the reserved dressing, carrot and pine nuts; toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.

Notes: Korean chile powder (gochugaru, gochugalu or Korean “crushed red pepper”) is made from thin red peppers that are sun-dried on woven mats or strung together and hung from the eaves of thatch-roofed houses throughout the countryside. Find it in Korean or Asian markets or online from Store, airtight, in the refrigerator or freezer indefinitely.

Squid (aka calamari) is sold frozen or fresh in the seafood department of the grocery store. Typically it’s available as a mix of “tubes and tentacles,” but you can also find just “tubes” fresh at some fish counters. If it’s not already cleaned, with its cartilage and ink removed, ask the fishmonger to clean it for you.

Kitchen Tip: To toast nuts and seeds, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
generous 1/3 cup
6 g
8 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
21 g
176 mg
Dietary Fiber
0 g
222 mg
148 mg
6 servings
generous 1/3 cup each
2 lean meat
2 fat
Nutrition bonus
Vitamin A : 16% daily value

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