Squid and udon noodle salad

Photographer: Emma
Makes one large salad

My friend Lou made this salad for my birthday BBQ a couple of months ago.  Lou is a naturopath and only too happy to talk to you about the mercury levels in fish, how rosemary improves memory, how her kawakawa cream fixed someone’s eczma. 

Lou is full of knowledge about what is good for you and this salad is full of goodness.  Alternatively, swap out the squid for chicken or omit meat and make it vegetarian.   Also, buy vegetables which are in season; you can substitute broccoli, courgette, bean sprouts etc for the veges in Lou’s recipe.


4 squid tubes
Soy sauce
Sweet chilli sauce

800g noodles (udon or Hokkien)
1 bunch spring onions (5 or 6 stems), sliced diagonally
1 ½ c green beans, sliced diagonally
1 carrot, cut in half lengthways and finely sliced
1 capsicum (any colour)
½ c fresh mint, roughly chopped
½ c fresh coriander, roughly chopped
½ c roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce


1. Slice down one side of the squid tube and then lay out flat (the inside of the tube facing the chopping board).
2. Score the outside in diamonds – try not to go right through the squid with your knife, you want to cut approximately 1/3 of the way into the flesh.
3. In a bowl add the scored squid as well as a drizzle of both soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Mix to coat the squid.
4. Heat a pan (preferably cast iron) or skillet on high.
5. Cook the squid (scored side up) over high heat for approximately 5 minutes. The squid should contract and curl – this is good. Don’t try to uncurl it, just cook it how it naturally forms.
6. Remove the squid from the pan, leave to cool then slice horizontally.
7. Cover the noodles with boiling water and leave to sit for 2-3 minutes. Then drain and run cold water over them to cool.
8. Mix the sesame oil, peanut oil, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and sweet chilli in a small bowl.
9. In a large bowl, lightly combine the noodles, the dressing, the spring onions, beans, carrot, capsicum, mint, coriander and peanuts.
10. Add the dressing and gently mix.
11. Serve on a platter and top with the sliced squid.