Guests serve themselves in this recipe for Vietnamese squid with vermicelli rice noodles and vegetable accompaniments.


  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil, plus a little extra

  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric

  • 1 garlic clove, not peeled and lightly crushed

  • 200g vermicelli rice noodles

  • 450g squid

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

  • 225g Asian leaves, such as Chinese cabbage, Chinese broccoli or garlic chives

  • 1 bunch spring onions, whites very finely sliced, green part cut into 4cm lengths

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce, to taste

  • 2 tbsp each picked fresh coriander, dill and mint, in separate bowls

  • Vietnamese chilli sauce and/or sambal, to serve


  • 1.

    Cut the body pouch of each squid open along one side and score the inner side with the tip of a small, sharp knife into a fine diamond pattern. Then cut each pouch lengthways in half, then across into 5cm/2 inch pieces. Separate the tentacles into pairs.

  • 2.

    To make the turmeric oil, place the oil into a small heavy-based pan with the turmeric and garlic. Heat up very slowly until just, but only just,  simmering. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pass through muslin or a coffee filter.

  • 3.

    Pour hot water over the noodles in a large bowl until just covered. Allow to stand for 3-4 minutes until soft. Drain well, coat in a little oil and reserve.

  • 4.

    Seat your guests and give each person a bowl with some noodles in the bottom. Place the bowls of herbs, fish sauce and chilli sauce on the table.

  • 5.

    Heat a wok until smoking hot. Add two tablespoons of the turmeric oil to the wok. Tip in half the squid and stir-fry over a high heat for a minute or two until the fish is sealed. Add a little more of the oil and half the coriander, Asian leaves and spring onions, cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables have just wilted.

  • 6.

    Stir in the lemon juice and add a dash of Vietnamese fish sauce.

  • 7.

    Divide the fish between warmed serving bowls and allow each person to garnish with their own herbs and seasonings of their choice.

  • 8.

    Once everyone had finished their first bowl repeat with the remaining ingredients.

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