Vietnamese Shrimp and Squid Salad with Lotus Roots – Goi Tom Muc voi Ngo Sen

I love this salad.  This is the third time I made a party try for three potlucks within the past month.  My sister had to admit I made the dressing better than hers. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients: to make a medium size party/potluck tray

2 squids about 1.5 to 2 lbs

1 lb tiger shrimp or jumbo size headless shrimp

1 tsp pink/kosher salt

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

black pepper to taste

5 Tbsp sugar

6 Tbsp fish sauce

3 inch piece ginger

2 limes

1 bunch mint

1 bunch Vietnamese coriander (rau ram)

4 celery stems

4 cucumbers

4 jumbo carrots

2 jars of lotus roots with brine

1/2+ tsp homemade Thai chili paste

*1 can of Coco soda with 1 stalk of lemongrass or 1 quart of water

Optional: 1 cup of crushed roasted peanuts

Directions:

1.  Prep the shrimp.  Devein the shrimp, rub with a pinch of salt and pan sear in a pan with shell on.  Strain, let cool, peel off shrimp and slice shrimp in halves.  Set aside.

2.  Prep the squids.  Strip the gut out from the squids. The gut is the long orangy sac inside the squid tube. Remove the eye sockets and mouth. Normally, I would bring a quart of water to a boil and blanched the squid for about 3 minutes on high.   Prego me had to cure the squid smell well by blanching it in a can of Coco Soda with a stalk of lemongrass. Strain the squid in a colander. Squid should be semi-cooked. You will pan sear to fully cook so don’t blanch it too long.

Cut the tentacles in 2 inch segments.

Slit the squid tub open.  That white part and clear stuff are the edible part (my favorite part besides the tentacles).

Skin the squid body and slice it into strips.

Mix back pepper, apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a little bowl. Heat up pan until very hot. Toss in the squid and pour in the mixture.  Cook on high for a minute or until squid is cooked. Strain squid and set aside.

3.  Prep the vegetables and herbs.  

Peel and sliced the ginger into thin strips.  As thin as possible.

Cut and slice the celery stems into thin strips.

Peel and slice the jumbo carrots into thin pieces.

Core the cucumbers and cut it into 1/3 inch thick pieces.

Empty the lotus roots from the jars.  Slice it diagonally into thin strips. Wring the brine out by squeezing with your palm as much as possible. This is so the salad won’t be bland and watery.

 

Rinse, strain, and chop the herbs coarsely.

4.  Mix the salad dressing with 6 Tbsp of fish sauce, 5 Tbsp sugar, juice of 1.5 lime, black pepper and Thai chili paste to your preference. Reserve the extra lime wedges.

5.   Mix the salad together.

Place squid and shrimp in medium size aluminum tray.  Squeeze in 2 lime wedges, sprinkle in black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Mix well.  Make sure to wear a glove. Reserve about a dozen pieces of shrimp on a side to top it off later.

Add in the lotus roots, cucumber, carrot, ginger, and herbs.  Drizzle in the salad dressing.  Mix salad up well.

Top the salad tray with the reserved shrimp.  Sprinkle with crushed roasted peanuts if you aren’t allergic to peanuts.   Enjoy!

I made a large tray without shrimp and squid for a teacher staff luncheon and they must have liked it a lot because it was gone by the end of the day.

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