Calamari Salad with Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

I still remember the first time I tried mustard greens. I was blown away by the bitter, peppery taste. Who knew that a leaf could pack so much flavor? In the South, ham is often served with greens on the side, so bacon just makes sense for this recipe. The salad is topped with fried calamari, one of my favorite bar appetizers.


For the Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the Salad

  • 1 pound (455 g) calamari, cleaned and cut into rings ½ inch (12 mm) thick
  • 2 cups (480 ml) shaken buttermilk
  • 4 cups (960 ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups (360 g) yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces (85 g) mustard greens, torn into bite-size pieces; or baby mustard greens
  • 3 ounces (85 g) baby arugula
  • 1 watermelon radish or 4 red radishes, scrubbed well and thinly sliced
  • 3 pickled hot cherry peppers, patted dry and thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces (340 g) sautéed bacon lardons
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted


Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, ginger, sriracha, garlic, vegetable oil, and sesame oil. Cover and let the flavors meld for at least 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Make the salad: In a medium bowl, combine the calamari rings and buttermilk, cover, and let marinate, stirring once, for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C) on a deep-fry thermometer. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.

In a large shallow bowl, mix together the cornmeal and flour and season well with salt and pepper. Working in batches, remove the calamari from the buttermilk using a slotted spoon and let some of the buttermilk run off. Dredge in the seasoned cornmeal and tap off any excess. Fry until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on the prepared baking sheet and immediately season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the mustard greens, arugula, radish, and cherry peppers, add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and scatter the calamari and bacon on top, drizzle with more of the vinaigrette, and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.