There is no Asian market in the place that I’m living now. So it’s kind of hard for me to follow all the dishes that I love to eat like the time back in Vietnam. Sometimes, we come down to Denver, which is 2.5 – hour driving away from here to go shopping at Asian markets. Each time, we brought like the whole market back home. My favorite would be seafood including squid, catfish, shrimp etc. I usually buy some herbs that we cannot grab in an US market such as rau răm or Laksa leaf, tía tô etc. And of course, after all of that, time for me to schedule the menu so that we could eat all of those herbs before they become spoilt. So Gỏi mực – Squid salad with cucumber is our first choice.
This dish is very delicious with a lot of flavors: sweet, sour, salty and spicy; and the texture of the squid is very fresh and crunchy. You can eat a whole dish alone or with rice. Yummy! The good think is that this dish is easy to make and you can plan it ahead of time so it’s also good for a party. Let’s our cooking started!
- 1 big cucumber (or 2 small cucumbers)
- 1 big squid
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- Water mixture to boil the squid:
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Fish sauce mixture to toss:
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon good quality of fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar (or if you prefer you can use lime juice)
- 1 red fresh chilli (less or more to your taste)
- 2 Tablespoon fresh minced rau răm (Laksa leaf)
- First, prepare the cucumber. Wash it then scoop out the inside part of the cucumber, which will make the salad watery later. Slide it very thin and toss with 1 ½ teaspoon sugar. Set aside.
- Clean the squid and cut to the bite size. Score one side of the squid to make the final look beautiful. Please see the picture for detail.
- Bring the water mixture to boil . Put the squid in and bring the water to boil again then turn off the heat. Let’s the squid sit in the hot water for about 1 min. Don’t overcook the squid or it will become tough. Take the squid out and put them into a bowl with iced water to stop cooking. Take them out after a few minute and set aside.
- Fry the minced garlic with 2-3 Tablespoon of oil or until the garlic become golden brown.
- Prepare the fish sauce mixture to toss and set aside. Have everything ready but don’t toss them too soon. Just do it before you eat for about 15 minutes.
- How to toss: First, toss the squid with the fish sauce mixture until the squid absorbs very well. Then put cucumber and toss. Finally, put the rau răm (or laksa leaf) and taste again. Pour the salad to the plate then sprinkle with fried minced garlic.
Here you have it – Gỏi mực or Squid salad. I really like the combination of this dish. It seems like every flavor is put into the same plate. If you have it in summer, I’m sure that you can feel it like a freshness of all ingredients. If you have it in winter, maybe the spiciness would make you warm up a little bit.
This dish reminds me of some Thai dishes because Thai cuisine also have some kind of squid salad like this. However, I think the flavor in Vietnamese Goi Muc is lighter. Please try and let me know if you have any question.