Serious Eats: Recipes

Eat for Eight Bucks: Squid Noodle Salad with Fragrant Garlic Topping

Shopping List

3/4 pound squid: $2.99
4-ounce package glass noodles: $1.69
1 red bell pepper: $1.73
1 red onion: $0.45
Bunch cilantro: $0.69
2 limes: $0.50

Pantry items:
Sriracha, fish sauce, garlic, vegetable oil

Total cost: $8.05

A couple of weekends ago, I was shopping at my local "gourmet" grocery store, a self-satisfied establishment that never seems to let me get away with spending less than $30 on dinner. Determined to break this alarming pattern, I headed straight for the fish counter, looked right past the striped bass and tuna steaks, and asked for some squid.

The fishmonger looked at me as though I'd asked for a fillet of blobfish. He didn't carry it, I was told. Because nobody wanted it.

I found this incredible, because the same store stocks baby cauliflower—in four colors, no less—all year round. Is miniature romanesco really such a hot item and squid such a dud?

It shouldn't be. Not only is squid one of the more sustainable seafood choices out there, it's also one of the cheapest. Delicious raw, grilled, or braised to tenderness, it deserves better than being relegated to occasional calamari duties.

I hope I'm doing it justice with today's recipe, a light, refreshing salad inspired by the Thai noodle dish yum woon sen. Here, the sweet, delicate flesh is seared very briefly, tossed with red onion, bell peppers and slippery glass noodles, and dressed in a Sriracha-spiked mixture of fish sauce and fresh lime. A final scattering of golden-fried garlic brings crunch and fragrance to this tart, cooling dish.


Squid Noodle Salad with Fragrant Garlic Topping

About the author: Michele Humes, cephalopod lobbyist, writes Georgia On My Thighs.

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