Squid Salad with Korean Chili Sauce


Korean flavour with juicy and crunchy bites, this is a delicious combination of squid, kelp, cucumber and carrot. I had something similar in a Korean restaurant back a long time ago, and have since loved to try it at home, and each time with a slight twist.

Dried kelp can be bought from many Asian stores. There are several Japanese and Korean brands available and they are clean and ready to use. You only need a small amount of dried kelp. Once soaked in water for just a few minutes, it becomes soft and increases in volume quite drastically.

A great tool for really thin cucumber and carrot slices is a good peeler. My slices are so thin that they are beautifully translucent and easily flavoured.

The only thing needs to be cooked and requires a little more care is the squid pieces. They cook extremely fast, and a minute or two too long will leave them taste quite rubbery. The key is to cook in a big pot with plenty of boiling water to ensure the water can be brought back to boil quickly once you put them in. Generally 30-45 seconds is all it takes. Get the cooked squid pieces out of the water as soon as they turn from translucent to completely.

You can cut the clean squid tubes into simple squres. Here I did it with a flower cut just for fun, although the real advantage of a flower cut is to generate more surface area to be in contact with heat and sauce /dressing, for the food to cook faster and has more flavour, and in the case of squid or calamari, visually pleasing too. With a little practice, anyone can do it. Use a sharp chef’s knife or a Chinese kitchen knife, with the blade on a 45 degree, starting cutting the squid from the bottom-right corner, make diagonal cuts of 1 cm wide, and be careful not to cut through. Once you reach the top-left cornor, start over from the top- right corner, and cut in opposite direction until you reach the bottom-left corner.


  • 2-3 cleaned squid tubes, cut into about 2inch squares
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 30 g dry Kelp, soak until soft, drain well

  • 1 tbsp Korean chili sauce (Gochujang)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)

Cook squid pieces in a pot of boiling water on high heat for 30-45 second until the prices curl and turn white. Take out, drain well and leave to cool.

Mix all the ingredients, add dressing, marinade for 5 minute and serve.

With the same dressing, you can make delicious mussel.and shrimp salad too.

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