Squid with Grapefruit Salad and Thai Chili Dressing | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Squid with Grapefruit Salad and Thai Chili Dressing

Squid Salad with Lettuce - Thai Style

Sorry to Pomelo, the traditional citrus fruit for making this Thai salad. I have replaced its position by grapefruit. I have no discrimination against pomelo; it is just not in the season in my place until autumn.

Exotic though, I like having the grapefruit as a simple yet an equally luscious alternative for this appetizer. It is imported mostly from the U.S. almost throughout the year and I have bought it conveniently together with some other ingredients, the Thai chilies and lime, in the same supermarket.

Scoring the squid with a pattern is not a difficult task once you get to know how to do it. Honestly, however, if my mood do not steer me toward making this, I will go for a simpler version by using either scallops or shrimps.

On the day when you do not mean to have an appetizer, then just serve this with a bowl of rice noodles, there you go a one dish meal.

Thai Green and Red Chilies

Skinned Grapefruit

  • Ingredients
  • 1 squid, ~300g
  • 3-4 leaflets of lettuce, ~80g
  • 3 segments skinned grapefruit
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Marinades for squid
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp wine
  • Chili dressing
  • 1 red chili, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 green chili, thinly sliced crosswise (I use only half piece of this green chili as it is super hot, adjust the amount to your liking)
  • 1 sprig of coriander stems, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice, about 1 lime
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce, or to taste

Cutting and Blanching Squid


Scoring squid
Tear off the skin of squid, cut open the tube lengthwise (the fishmonger did this for me). Pull apart the head from the body. Then cut away the beak because it is bony and inedible but I am going to retain the tentacles for eating. Rinse and drain dry. Cut the tentacles apart.
Lay the squid slab flat on a chopping board with the inner side facing upward. With a knife, score parallel lines about 1/3cm apart and halfway deep all over on the slab. Score lines again but crossing the previous ones until the whole piece of slab are covered by crisscross pattern. Cut it into about 5x4cm pieces. Marinade the cut squid for 10 to 15 minutes.

Fleshing grapefruit
First make a cross cut near the bottom of the grapefruit, then tear off the thick skin following the cut. After the fruit is naked without the thick skin, just half it by pulling apart. Separate segment by segment, remove their membranes (actually some of the membranes fall off after segmented) and retrieve the flesh which otherwise might have been damaged by cutting. Then, gently tear the flesh into smaller pieces.

Blanching squid
Over high heat, bring about 2 cups of water (enough for covering the squid) in a skillet or a pan to boil and, add in 1 tea spoon of salt. Put in marinaded squid cuts and blanch them till they are done. A rough guide for doneness is when the squid curled and turned completely white in color, about 2 minutes. Do not over-boil them as the squid will turn too chewy. Drain, pat dry squid.

Tearing lettuce
Rinse lettuce, pat dry and tear them into smaller pieces. I like tear them by hand to attain irregular shapes and avoid possible rusty cutting edges caused by stainless steel knife.

Mix well all seasonings and ingredients for the chili dressing. Cover, store squid, grapefruit, lettuce and mixed dressing separately in fridge for a couple of hours or until chilled. Right before serving, retrieve them from fridge, dress the greens on a dish and top them with squid and grapefruit followed by the spicy dressing.

Chilling the ingredients separately is to make sure the greens will remain crisp while others will not be over-marinaded by the dressing.

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  1. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    In Canada, pomelo is sold under a name “white/Chinese grapefruit”. My husband hates the taste of grapefruit, yet he is ok with pomelo 🙂

    I love this dish!

  2. TasteHongKong

    I know to call pomelo as Chinese grapefruit but not White grapefruit, thanks! We simply call it 沙田柚 here in Chinese.

  3. Mei Teng

    I think grapefruit is a good substitute for pomelo. Beautiful salad.

  4. the lacquer spoon

    What a refreshing dish for summer! I feel a sweet & sour sauce goes well with seafood everytime eating something Thai like yum woonsen, but your recipe looks sooo good with the fruity flavour to add. Delish!!

  5. 5 Star Foodie

    What a beautiful pairing of grapefruit and squid! Very elegant!

  6. Mary Moh

    Lovely salad! I will need many portions of this 😀 I love the sauce…very appetising. I’d love some minced garlic in the dressing, too.

  7. penny aka jeroxie

    So healthy! You are making me guilty… heh…

  8. mycookinghut

    I love Pomelo as well as grapefruit.. either one, your salad looks yummy!

  9. Cooking Gallery

    What a healthy looking salad! I happen to have grapefruit and squids in my pantry. Should try it tomorrow :)!

  10. Juliana

    WOW, I love the combination of squid and grapefruit…must taste so good. Very summery! Great pictures as well 🙂

  11. tigerfish

    I like pomelo and grapefruit. Do you think I can do this salad with cooked prawns? Sounds refreshing and almost like a Thai salad.

  12. TasteHongKong

    @tigerfish, Sure! If I make this with prawns, I will blanch them with their shells on, and skip the marinades because that are used for tenderize the squid. For frozen prawns, I have a habit of applying some ground white pepper to them after shelled.
    Enjoy your version : ).

  13. Carolyn Jung

    You made the squid look so pretty! And I love salads like this in summer, especially. All spritely and light tasting — what could be better? 😉

  14. Heavenly Housewife

    This looks so fresh and fabulous. You really have a great knack for presentation.
    Have an amazing weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  15. Angie's Recipes

    The pairing of grapefruit and squid is something new to me. The presentation is simply beautiful.

  16. pigpigscorner

    Looks so refreshing! The grapefruit adds such a nice colour.

  17. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    It’s so clever to replace pomelo with grapefruit. Actually, I’ve been waiting too long for making Thai salad as well. Very inspiring.

  18. Tastes of Home

    it looks so fresh and inviting 🙂 thanks for the idea

  19. Von

    I love grapefruit! This sald looks really light and delicious! The cutting of the squid looks like a lot of effort….=D

  20. TasteHongKong

    @Von, Not much efforts indeed. The scoring on squid is simply repetitive, you may even enjoy it when you make variations, like making angled scorings and the pattern will look different.

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