Chef's Recipes

Cuttlefish, cucumber and ruby grapefruit salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for cuttlefish, cucumber and ruby grapefruit salad by Kevin Pham of Perth restaurant Nahm Thai.

By Kevin Pham
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking
Cuttlefish, cucumber and ruby grapefruit salad
Cuttlefish, cucumber and ruby grapefruit salad

“My favourite place to dine in Perth is a little Thai place in north Perth called Nahm Thai. Kevin Pham, the chef, is a self-taught young Vietnamese guy who has a great understanding of the nuances of Thai food. His food is simply presented, well cooked, with nice punchy flavours. The perfect place to eat on a chef’s night off. The cuttlefish salad is sensational.”
David Coomer, Star Anise, WA


  • 400 gm cuttlefish, cleaned, tentacles discarded, scored diagonally
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into long thin ribbons
  • 1 ruby grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 cup each of (loosely packed) coriander, mint and Thai basil
  • 4 red shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced widthways
  • 2 small red chillies or to taste, thinly sliced diagonally
  • To serve: fried shallots (see note)
Nahm jim
  • 75 gm finely grated palm sugar (¼ cup)
  • 60 ml fish sauce (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice


  • 1
    For nahm jim, combine sugar and fish sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil and cook until lightly caramelised and becomes a light syrup (3-5 minutes). Cool then add lime juice just before serving.
  • 2
    Heat frying pan over high heat and cook cuttlefish until just cooked through (1-2 minutes each side), then slice lengthways into 1½cm-thick strips. Combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients except fried shallots, toss to combine. Drizzle with nahm jim and serve immediately scattered with fried shallots.


Fried shallots are from Asian grocers.

  • Author: Kevin Pham