The key to this dish is to use really fresh calamari - you could
also use prawns, scallops or shellfish. If you want to make it more
substantial, serve it with some steamed or sticky rice.
1 kgcleaned calamari3 tsppeanut oil2 cups (loosely packed)each mint and coriander1Lebanese cucumber, halved, seeds removed, thinly sliced2long green chillies, seeds removed, cut into julienne2red shallots, thinly slicedChilli dressing1small garlic clove, coarsely chopped1small green chilli, coarsely chopped2 tbsplime juice, or to taste2 tsppalm sugar, or to taste1 tbspfish sauce, or to taste
Open out calamari, then cut into 4cm pieces and score flesh on inside in a crosshatch pattern. Pat dry with absorbent paper and refrigerate until required.
For chilli dressing, pound garlic in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt, add chilli and pound to a coarse paste. Add lime juice and palm sugar, stir to dissolve sugar, then add fish sauce, adjusting flavour to taste with extra lime juice, fish sauce or palm sugar.
Heat half the peanut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Season calamari to taste and cook half, scored-side down, until just golden (2-3 minutes), turn and cook until curled (30 seconds), transfer to a bowl, then repeat with remaining oil and calamari. Add remaining ingredients and chilli dressing, toss lightly to combine, serve warm.