Lemon Chili Calamari Salad

Lemon Chili Calamari Salad: Healthy Recipes by Little Miss Bakery

Yesterday I had a most unexpectedly wonderful day. Several times I was shown such  thoughtful generosity.  It gave me pause; as a person who finds herself often lamenting human nature and the faults of society, yesterday I was struck by the heart of people. Amid all the sad and frustrating things that seem to take the forefront, yesterday was a rare day where the kindness rose up to the surface and reminded me of the goodness in the world.

You have to hold onto days like that. I’m a generally very happy person, but I have become a little cynical, especially when it comes to my confidence in others. Maybe I needed a little reminder of the love that surrounds me. Maybe I needed a little show of force – that I need to pass that feeling on to another.

One of my favorite ways to show love is through good, delicious, healthy food. This easy healthy salad is spectacular, full of great flavors and nourishing produce. Chili garlic paste is an Asian ingredient found in most groceries, but feel free to use sriracha as a substitute if you can’t find it. If you are having a hard time with the written directions of how to prepare calamari (don’t be intimidated!), try watching this video.

Do something today, no matter how little, to put a little kindness into the world. Someone out there really needs it!

Lemon Chili Calamari Salad

A light and bright salad with delicious calamari, filling cous cous and a variety of veggies to round out this satisfying plate.

If you’re in the mood for more fabulous salads, check out Grilled Portobello Salad & Roasted Poblano CreamChili Salmon & Asian Veggie Noodle Salad, or this Summer Sweet Potato Noodles & Roasted Poblano Cream.

Lemon Chili Calamari Salad

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 45 minutes (plus marinating time)


  • 6-8 whole calamari, defrosted
  • t bsp Chili garlic paste
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked Israeli cous cous
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2 radishes
  • 3 cups spring greens (or greens of choice)



First, defrost the calamari carefully. If you purchased yours in a box like mine, it will take several hours for the fish to defrost enough for you to remove your servings from the pack. Run lukewarm water over the ice until thawed enough to remove, and then place the rest back in the freezer. I placed the calamari I planned to use in a strainer, and ran lukewarm water over them until defrosted enough to work with.


At least 3 hours before you plan to eat, prepare the the marinade. Combine 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp chili garlic paste, the juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper into a plastic bag. Prepare the calamari by cutting off the tentacles just below the eyes. Slide your knife (I used paring), into the body of the calamari and run it around the edges, loosening the spine. Sometimes it helps to cut off the opposite end. Remove the spine and innards. Cut into 1/2 in thick rounds. Place calamari (not innards!) into the marinade. Discard innards. Once finished, refrigerate for 3 hours.


About 35 minutes before you plan to eat, remove the calamari from the fridge and heat the broiler over high heat. Core the red pepper and cut into long slices, as flat as you can. Toss in olive oil. Lay flat on a baking sheet skin side up. Broil for about 5 minutes or until skin is beginning to burn. Remove from oven and place into a bowl. Cover immediately with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes.


While the peppers are resting, place your cous cous and water (about 1 1/4 cup for your 1 cup of cous cous) into a small pot. Bring the water to a boil, and then cook according to package directions. Remove from heat when done and add a spash of olive oil. Toss.


While the cous cous is cooking, thinly slice the cucumber and radish.


Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add a little of the marinade to the pan when hot, and then the calamari. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until just cooked through. Do not over cook calamari!


Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon), 1 tsp sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil in a slow drizzle, whisking constantly. Add a little of the vinaigrette to a bowl, swirling to coat sides. Add greens and toss to lightly coat. Lay greens onto the dinner plates, and repeat the process to toss the cumber and radishes in the vinaigrette as well.


Uncover the peppers. If you want, run under cold water and peel back the skins. Place roasted peppers on salad as desired.


Add cous cous to plate as desired. Add calamari as desired and top with any extra vinaigrette as desired.


The seafood you see behind most grocery counters is the same as the frozen seafood, simply defrosted. For a more fresh catch, ask for the frozen version and defrost it yourself as desired.

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