Calamari, Chile, and Watermelon Salad
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad
- 1 pound calamari (bodies and tentacles), rinsed and dried
- 1 pound cockles or small clams, scrubbed
- 2 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
- 3 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, torn, plus more for garnish
- 1 fresh hot red chile, such as Thai chile, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Quick Pickled Red Onion
Make the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.
Make the salad: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Using a kitchen mallet, pound both sides of calamari bodies a few times to tenderize. Insert a sharp knife into calamari bodies, cut along seam, and then open like a book. Lightly score inner sides at 1/4-inch intervals. Cut in half lengthwise to form 2 pieces, then slice into triangles, each about 4 inches tall by 1 1/2 inches wide. (Leave tentacles whole, or halve if large.)
Blanch calamari in boiling water for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain, and pat dry. Place calamari in a nonreactive bowl.
Put cockles into a saucepan, and cover with water by 1 inch. Cover, and simmer, until shells open, about 7 minutes. Drain; discard any unopened shells.
Add cockles, watermelon, scallions, cilantro, mint, chile, pickled onion, and dressing to calamari, and toss to combine. Garnish with cilantro and mint.