I live on seafood salads in summertime, and calamari -- you can call it just plain squid if you'd like -- is one of the best things to put in a seafood salad. Done right, the squid is buttery tender, and if you leave the skin on it gets this pretty little pink ring around it.
I was playing around with calamari recipes recently and came up with this Vietnamese squid salad, which uses all the hallmarks of Vietnamese cuisine: ginger, chiles, lemongrass, lime and fish sauce. It's got that tangy-salty sweet-hot-sour-savory thing goin' on.
The key is to cook the calamari for just a few seconds in boiling water. That's right. Just a few seconds. Any more than 30 seconds and it'll get rubbery. That's the trick to quick tender squid. Now you know.
Photo copyright 2008 Hank Shaw