Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Seafood)

Grilled Squid and Tomatoes in Tamarind Dressing Recipe

This is a lovely dish - sweet, charred squid served in a tangy dressing made with tamarind, lime and nuoc mam. It is best made with baby squid because they are tender and sweet. Traditionally, the squid are steamed for this dish, but their flavor is enhanced if they are cooked on a griddle, as here, or lightly charred over a barbecue. Serve while the squid is still warm.

Ingredients : Serves 4

2 large

500 g

1 bunch each


For dressing

15 ml


30 ml

15 ml

1 clove



Tomatoes, skinned, halved and seeded

Fresh baby squid

Fresh basil, coriander (cilantro) and mint, stalks removed, leaves chopped



Tamarind paste

Lime, squeezed and juiced

Nuoc mam

Raw cane sugar

Garlic, crushed

Shallots, halved and finely sliced

Serrano chilies, seeded and finely sliced

Method :
  • Put the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

  • Heat a ridged griddle, wipe the pan with a little oil, and griddle the tomatoes until lightly charred.

  • Transfer them to a board, chop roughly into bite-size chunks, and place in a bowl.

  • Clean the griddle, then heat it up again and wipe with a little more oil. Griddle the squid for 2-3 minutes each side, pressing them down with a spatula, until nicely browned.

  • Transfer to the bowl with the tomatoes, add the herbs and the dressing. Toss well.

Preparing the squid

To prepare the squid yourself, get a firm hold of the head and pull it from the body. Reach down inside the body sac and pull out the transparent back bone, as well as any stringy parts. Rinse the body sac inside and out and pat dry. Cut the tentacles off above the eyes and add to the pile of squid you're going to cook. Discard everything else.

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