Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gỏi Mực (Cuttlefish Salad)

I am not the only one who is spoiled by my mother. My sister is also spoiled. My mom spoils us equally! So when my sister mentioned that she could really go for gỏi mực (cuttlefish salad), my mom was happy to make it. My sister and I have always referred to this salad as squid salad. I only realized that my mom was using cuttlefish when I read the description on the frozen package.

I wikipedia-ed to realize the difference between cuttlefish and squid. The body of the cuttlefish is round and thicker, making it conducive for this salad; the squid has a tubular shape. While reading Wikipedia, it states that cuttlefish is considered among the most intelligent invertebrate species. This reminded me that I had seen a TV show on cuttlefish. They were cute and very smart! When I mentioned this to my mother, she said they also make great gỏi's (salads)...!

Frozen cuttlefish being thawed.

Gỏi Mực (Cuttlefish Salad) - Serves 4-6
Traditionally, this salad is only made with cuttlefish. However, my mom adds red peppers for colour and to act as a filler - cuttlefish are expensive. This salad is served at room temperature.

Pickled onion
The onion should be lightly pickled so the raw onion flavour is not too strong.

* 1 onion, sliced thinly
* ½ cup vinegar (or lime juice)
* ¼ tsp salt
* 1 tbsp sugar

Soak onion in vinegar, salt and sugar, for about 15 minutes.
Adjust to taste - if it's too sour, add some sugar.
Squeeze the liquid out and set the onion aside.

* 5 tsp fish sauce
* 2 tsp sugar
* juice of ½ lime
* 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (like samba oelek), or to taste

Mix all of the ingredients.
Adjust to taste.

Putting the salad together
* water
* 1 cuttlefish (about 750 g)
* 4-5 pieces of ginger
* salt
* pickled onion
* 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
* roasted peanuts, crushed
* Thai basil, sliced thinly

Boil water, enough so the cuttlefish is submerged.
Add some salt and the pieces of ginger.
Cook the cuttlefish for about 4-5 minutes - overcooking will make it chewy.
Let cool until it can be manipulated.
Slice thinly.
Add the dressing to the cuttlefish slices.
Add the onion and red pepper, and mix.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
Top the salad with Thai basil and peanuts.
Serve with bánh tráng (toasted sesame rice paper).

Cooking and slicing the cuttlefish.

Mixing the cuttlefish slices with the vinaigrette.

Topped with Thai basil and crushed peanuts.

Enjoy on top of a piece of bánh tráng.

1 comment:

Nhu said...

I LOVE goi muc...def going to try to make this...thanks for the recipe!