Thai Asparagus and Squid Salad

Preparation info

  • for


    as a starter
    • Difficulty


Appears in

New Wave Asian: A Guide to the Southeast Asian Food Revolution

New Wave Asian

By Sri Owen

Published 2002

  • About

This is based on the well-known Thai squid salad, yam pla muek. The miniature asparagus which I use can be bought in most supermarkets in the West nowadays; it really does come from Thailand, and is much smaller and more slender than most of the full-size asparagus grown in Europe and North America. Wild asparagus is a good alternative, if you can get it.


  • 450–500 g/about 1 lb baby squid, without tentacles, cleaned and each cut into 4 lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 450 g/1 lb thin Thai asparagus


Put the squid pieces into a glass bowl. Add the oil, salt and garlic, and mix well by hand so that every piece of squid is coated with the mixture. Set aside.

Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in another (large) glass bowl.

Cook the garnishes: heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the shallots and chillies for 2 minutes, adding a pinch of salt as you do so. Set aside.

Blanch the asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for 1 minute only. Drain and mix while still hot into the bowl with the dressing.

Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. When hot, put the marinated squid into the pan and stir for 1 minute. Increase the heat, shake the pan, and stir the squid again for another 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and cover the pan tightly. Leave it covered for 2 minutes.

Transfer the contents of the pan, while still warm, into the bowl with the dressing. Mix well and serve at room temperature, scattering the garnishes over all.