Delicious Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad Recipe

Looking for a refreshing salad recipe that packs a punch of flavor? Well, look no further! This Vietnamese calamari herb salad recipe is the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings. This dish combines fresh herbs, spicy chilies, and tangy lime with succulent calamari to create a refreshing salad that is perfect for any occasion.

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its bold, fresh flavors and this salad is no exception. The combination of herbs such as cilantro, basil, and mint will make your taste buds dance with excitement. The spiciness of the jalapeño chile adds another layer of depth to the dish, while the sweetness from the sugar and the tanginess from the lime juice help to balance out the flavors.

This calamari salad recipe is not only delicious but it’s also very simple to make. With only a handful of ingredients and minimal preparation time, you can have this restaurant-quality dish on your table in no time. And don’t worry if you’re new to cooking seafood; this recipe is beginner-friendly and easy to follow.

Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a side dish to accompany your favorite grilled meats, this Vietnamese calamari herb salad recipe truly has it all. So why not give it a try and see why it’s one of my all-time favorite salad recipes?

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad
Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad

If you’re looking for a refreshing and flavorful salad recipe, look no further than this Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad. What sets this recipe apart is the combination of fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley with the tender calamari. The result? A delightful blend of textures and flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

Not only is this recipe packed with delicious ingredients, but it’s also versatile. You can serve it as a side dish or main course, making it perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a summer BBQ or a cozy dinner party with friends, this salad is sure to impress.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s quick and easy to make. With just a few simple steps, you can have a mouthwatering dish on the table in no time. Plus, if you’re short on time or don’t have access to fresh calamari, you can easily substitute with grilled squid or fried calamari.

Another thing to love about this recipe is its nutritional value. With fresh vegetables like celery and red onion and a dressing made from lime juice and fish sauce, this salad is both healthy and delicious. Plus, it’s low in calories and high in protein – perfect for those watching their diet.

Overall, this Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad is a winning recipe that will satisfy your cravings for something fresh and unique. Its combination of fresh herbs, tender calamari and zesty dressing makes it an excellent choice for any mealtime or occasion. So why not try it out today? Your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 A flavorful explosion in every bite!
A flavorful explosion in every bite!

An Exotic and Flavorful Herb Salad with Vietnamese Calamari

This recipe requires a good selection of fresh herbs, bite-sized squid pieces, and a tangy lime dressing. So gather up the ingredients which will get you started:

Here are the ingredients for the Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad:

  • Squid: 1 lb cleaned squid or calamari cut into small rings
  • Celery: ½ cup of thinly sliced fresh celery
  • Red Onion: ½ cup of sliced red onion
  • Fresh Herbs: 1 cup mixture of fresh herbs such as cilantro leaves, flat leaf parsley, dill, basil and mint
  • Jalapeno Chile: 1 jalapeño chile thinly sliced, with seeds removed
  • Salted cashews: ¼ cup roasted salted cashews coarsely chopped

For the Dressing:

  • Sugar: 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • Fish sauce: 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • Lime juice: juice from two freshly squeezed Lime
  • Cayenne: ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

It is important to note that having the right ingredients can make all the difference in terms of taste and texture in the salad.

The Recipe How-To

 This herb salad is not to be squid around with.
This herb salad is not to be squid around with.

Now, let’s get into the cooking! This Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad recipe is a flavor-packed dish that will surely impress your guests. With fresh herbs, squid cooked to perfection, and a delicious dressing, you’ll be transported straight to Vietnam with every bite.

Preparing the Squid

First and foremost, it’s important to clean and prepare the calamari before cooking. Start by removing the head and ink sack from the body of each squid. Then, pull out the clear cartilage from inside and discard it. Rinse the bodies thoroughly under cold running water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Next, use a sharp knife to score the inside of each squid with diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep. This will help tenderize the meat and give it a nice texture when cooked. After scoring, cut each squid body into thin rings or leave them whole if they’re small enough.

Cooking the Squid

Heat up a skillet or grill pan over high heat. Add some oil to coat it lightly, then carefully place the squid rings in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until lightly browned and crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Be careful not to overcook them or else they’ll become rubbery and tough.

Once done, transfer the squid to a plate and let them cool down slightly before assembling the salad.

Making the Dressing

While waiting for the squid to cool down, make the dressing by combining 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of minced jalapeno chile, and 1 clove of minced garlic in a bowl. Stir well until all ingredients are dissolved.

Assembling the Salad

In a separate large bowl, place 4 cups of mixed fresh herbs such as cilantro leaves, flat-leaf parsley, dill, basil, and mint. Add thinly sliced celery and red onion, salted cashews, and the cooked squid rings. Pour half of the dressing over and toss gently to coat.

Transfer the salad to a serving platter or individual bowls. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and garnish with additional herbs and chopped salted cashews if desired.

There you have it! This delicious Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad is quick and easy to make but packs a flavor punch that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Serve it as a light lunch or dinner, an appetizer or side dish to a larger meal. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Eat like you're in Southeast Asia with this vibrant dish.
Eat like you’re in Southeast Asia with this vibrant dish.

Are you worried about not having all the ingredients listed in the recipe? Don’t fret! There are always some substitutions and variations that can still give great outcomes. Here are some alternatives that work just as well:

– Calamari: If you’re not a fan of squid, you can swap it with cooked shrimp or scallops. You can also experiment with grilled chicken or tofu.

– Herbs: Although cilantro, dill, basil, and mint are commonly used in this recipe, you can also try using other herbs like tarragon, chives or Thai basil.

– Vegetables: If celery or red onion is not your thing, sliced cucumbers, carrots or bell peppers also make for refreshing additions to the salad.

– Nuts: Cashews add an excellent crunch to the salad but if you have allergies to nuts, try substituting chopped roasted sunflower seeds.

– Dressing: Instead of fish sauce and sugar mixture, try replacing it with soy sauce or tamari sauce and honey mixture. You can also mix together hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.

Substitutions allow for a unique twist in any recipe. Experimenting with these alternatives lets you discover something new every time. The possibilities are endless; it’s all up to your taste preferences!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to fall in love with crispy calamari all over again.
Get ready to fall in love with crispy calamari all over again.

This Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad is a refreshing and light dish that makes for a perfect appetizer or main course. Here are some tips on how to serve and pair this dish for the best dining experience.

To serve, place the calamari herb salad into a large bowl or individual plates. The vibrant colors of the herbs and vegetables are an eye-catching addition to any table setting. You can also add some fried calamari or grilled squid on top of the salad to add texture and depth to the dish.

Pair this Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad with a chilled white wine or a light beer to balance out the flavors and refresh your palate. This dish pairs well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling that complements the tangy and spicy flavors of the dressing.

If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, infuse some fresh lime slices in a pitcher of water for a refreshing drink that helps cut through the heat of the chili lime dressing.

For a complete meal, serve this calamari herb salad alongside some vermicelli noodles or rice for extra substance. You can also serve it with some green mango salad or potato salad to complement the flavors and provide more variety on your plate.

Overall, this Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad is a versatile dish that can be served as an appetizer, side dish or main course. Experiment with different pairings and find what works best for you to create an unforgettable culinary experience.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A refreshing salad that is perfect for any season.
A refreshing salad that is perfect for any season.

This Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad recipe is great for making ahead of time, as the flavors only get better with time. You can prepare the salad up to one day in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. However, if you want to make the salad even further ahead, I recommend keeping the calamari separately from the rest of the ingredients and combine them just before serving to ensure that the salad stays crunchy.

To store any leftover salad, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Keep in mind that the fresh herbs may start to lose their flavor over time, so it’s best to eat the salad as soon as possible.

When reheating, be sure not to overheat or the calamari will become tough and rubbery. I recommend gently warming it over low heat in a skillet with a small amount of oil or butter. Alternatively, you can quickly warm it up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. This will help revive the flavors and textures of all ingredients.

These tips ensure that your delicious calamari herb salad remains fresh, vibrant and perfectly heated each time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Herbaceous and tangy - this dish has it all!
Herbaceous and tangy – this dish has it all!

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients and steps to create an exquisite Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad, let’s discuss some tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time.

1. Grill or Fry the Calamari with Care:

To ensure that your calamari is cooked perfectly, it’s essential to grill or fry it with care. If the calamari is overcooked, it can become tough and rubbery.

2. Use Fresh Herbs:

Herbs are a crucial component of this dish. Using fresh herbs like cilantro, dill, basil, and mint will give your salad a vibrant and fragrant flavor profile that will elevate the dish.

3. Add Spice Gradually:

The chili-lime dressing can add a fiery kick to the salad, but it can be overwhelming if added all at once. It’s best to add it gradually and taste as you go.

4. Cut the Calamari into Small Pieces:

For best results, cut the calamari meat into small pieces before cooking or grilling them. This way, they cook more evenly and quickly.

5. Season Generously:

The dish should be well seasoned with salt, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and cayenne pepper for a perfect balance of savory, sweet, spicy flavors.

6. Use Salted Cashews:

Using salted cashews adds crunchiness to the salad while complementing the flavors used in this recipe.

7. Don’t Over Dress The Salad:

It’s essential to use just enough dressing for your Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad without overdoing it. Overdressing can make your greens and herbs wilted while mushing down the fried calamari pieces.

8. Be Creative With Your Substitutions:

You can always play around with variations of this recipe by using grilled squid instead of fried calamari or using potatoes instead of noodles for a heartier variation.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure the perfect results of your Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad every time.


Now that you’ve learned how to prepare a delicious Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad, you might have some questions in mind. In this section, I’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions about this recipe to help guide you in your cooking journey. From ingredients substitutes to nutritional aspects, these FAQs have got you covered. So let’s dive in and explore any lingering inquiries!

What is calamari salad made of?

Get ready to taste a tangy yet light calamari salad composed of squid, lemon juice, crunchy celery, flavorful red onions, roasted peppers, savory garlic, and fresh parsley.

Why marinate squid in milk?

One of the key recommendations for making the perfect fried calamari is to soak the squid rings in milk that has been seasoned with salt, and then refrigerate them for half an hour. This process serves to soften the calamari, while also minimizing any unpleasant fishy odors. Additionally, it promotes the adhesion of the flour coating to the squid meat, ensuring that it stays in place while frying.

What are ways calamari is served?

As a chef proficient in crafting Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have composed a list of delectable side dishes that are irresistibly complementary to calamari. One of the best choices is a creamy potato salad, as its texture and taste nicely complement the seafood. Additionally, a tomato and onion salad is a vibrant and fresh option to pair with calamari. Steamed rice, nutty noodle salad, and creamy risotto are also excellent side dishes. For those who love a tangy taste, tartar sauce is an ideal option, and homemade rainbow coleslaw is a great choice for those seeking a colorful and crunchy side. Finally, a Hawaiian salad is a sweet and refreshing side dish that complements calamari perfectly.

How do you serve squid?

When it comes to enjoying squid, sometimes the simplest accompaniment is all you need. A squeeze of lemon over a plate of squid is a classic option, but there are also other flavorful alternatives like dipping sauces such as aioli or tartare that can add an extra kick of taste to this seafood dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the vibrant flavors that Asian cuisine has to offer. The combination of fresh herbs, spicy chilis, and tangy fish sauce creates a unique and delicious flavor profile that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Plus, with the option to grill or fry the calamari, this recipe is versatile enough to suit any preference.

One of the best things about this recipe is its simplicity. With just a few easy-to-find ingredients and straightforward instructions, even beginner cooks can create an impressive dish that will impress their guests.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just looking for a unique and flavorful salad to enjoy at home, this Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad recipe is sure to be a hit. So don’t hesitate – gather your ingredients, follow the steps outlined in this article, and prepare yourself for an explosion of savory flavors that you won’t soon forget!

Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad

Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad Recipe

from Sunset magazine. A great way to use all those herbs growing in your garden--this salad uses 5 different herbs.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer/Salad
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 1190.8 kcal


  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 6 to 8 large limes)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 red jalapeno chile, and
  • 1 green jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups loosely packed of fresh mint
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cups fresh dill
  • 2 cups flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery (1/4 in. thick)
  • 1 cup whole salted cashews
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 lb calamari, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne


  • In a small bowl, combine lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and chiles. Set dressing aside.
  • In a large serving bowl, combine mint, basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, onion, celery, and cashews. Set aside.
  • In a 4-qt. pot about 10 inches in diameter, heat vegetable oil until it registers 360° on a candy thermometer.
  • While oil is heating, slice calamari tubes into 1/2-3/4" rings.
  • Put in a small bowl with tentacles. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, combine all-purpose flour, rice flour, 1 teaspoons salt, and the cayenne.
  • Drop the calamari pieces into the flour mixture, turning to coat well.
  • Working in 3 batches, fry squid 3 to 5 minutes per batch, or until pieces are light brown.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried calamari to a large plate lined with several folded paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt to taste.
  • Allow oil temperature to return to 360° between batches.
  • Add the warm calamari to the herb-cashew mixture and pour half of the dressing over it.
  • Toss gently just until coated.
  • Serve salad immediately, with remaining dressing on the side.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 272gCalories: 1190.8kcalCarbohydrates: 30.5gProtein: 9.2gFat: 117.9gSaturated Fat: 15.9gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 908.9mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, No Shell, Squid, Summer, Vietnamese
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