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  • 225g/8oz prepared small squid

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil

  • a good pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 2 tsp long grain rice

  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, cut across into wide strips

  • 4 spring onions, trimmed, halved and shredded finely

  • a handful of coriander sprigs

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the dressing

  • 1 red finger chilli, sliced thinly into rings

  • 50ml/2fl oz white wine vinegar

  • 1 lime, juice only

  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 2 tbsp water

  • ½ tsp caster sugar

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed and the core chopped very finely


  • 1.

    Cut along one side of each squid pouch and open it out flat. Score the inner side into a diamond pattern with the tip of a small knife, then cut the squid into 5cm/2in squares. Separate the tentacles, if large. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 2.

    For the dresssing, cover the chilli slices with vinegar and leave to steep for half an hour.

  • 3.

    Heat the oil in a wok. Add the squid and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with cayenne and leave to cool, but do not refrigerate.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile, heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Add the rice and toss for a few minutes until it is richly browned and smells nutty.

  • 5.

    Tip into a mortar or mug and pound it with a pestle or a rolling pin end to break it up. Do not grind it to a fine powder.

  • 6.

    To serve, toss together the lettuce, spring onions, mint and coriander and spread on a large oval platter. Scatter over the squid and any oil left in the pan.

  • 7.

    Lift the chilli slices out of the vinegar but keep the vinegar for next time. Mix the rest of the dressing ingredients, spoon over the squid and sprinkle with the roasted rice. Serve straight away.

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