Squid carries bold south-east Asian flavours particularly well for a palate-awakening starter.
500g/1lb 2oz squid, cleaned
3 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed, sliced finely
2 red chillies, chopped finely
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
200ml/7fl oz coconut milk
1 mango, peeled, stone removed, chopped finely
1 lime, juice only
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2-3 little gem, leaves separated
2 tbsp red amaranth
Score the squid into a diamond pattern using a regular table knife and then slice into 5cm/2in squared pieces.
Place the squid into a bowl with half the lemongrass and chillies. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
Heat the wok until it s smoking hot, add the oil and stir-fry the squid for 2-3 minutes, or until opaque and charred at the edges. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Stir-fry the remaining lemongrass and chillies and the garlic cloves for one minute.
Add the coconut milk to the work, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the squid back to the wok with the mango, lime juice, fish sauce and coriander and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is steaming hot.
To serve, pile the squid pieces on top of the lettuce, scatter with the red amaranth and drizzle with a little of the remaining sauce.
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James is joined by chefs Glynn Purnell and Aktar Islam, plus pop star Kian Egan.
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