Asian Calamari Salad

asian chicken salad

It takes a lot to get me to eat a salad in the winter. Soup? Sign me up. Salad? Maybe another day….

Of course, if you load a salad up with lots of delicious, hearty toppings it’s hard to pass up – even when there’s three feet of snow on the ground. Recently I’ve had a few great salads that, for one reason or another, really stood up to the cold weather. This Asian-inspired Calamari Salad is one of them. There’s nothing particularly wintery about it, but it’s so much easier to get excited about a salad topped with calamari than one topped with chicken! And how can you say no to warm noodles that soak up spicy, gingery dressing and carry it through every bite?

healthy-delicious_asian calamari salad-3

I “cheat” by using frozen breaded calamari. It’s a little difficult to come by, but can be found in a lot of bigger grocery stores. Since we’re going with Asian flavors here, check the ingredients listed on the box to be sure that the ones you buy aren’t Italian seasoned. You can also make your own tempura calamari –  this recipe from Simply Recipes is easy and delicious.

You’ll notice that I used Simply Dressed Ginger Sesame for this recipe. As I’ve mentioned before it’s one of my favorites.  I’m currently a spokesblogger for Marzetti, but this recipe falls outside of my contract for them and this post is not sponsored in any way – it’s just a great recipe that I wanted to share.

healthy-delicious_asian calamari salad

Asian Calamari Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This salad is really more of a concept than a strict recipe - it's meant to be played with! I've included the approximate amounts that I used to make two large salads to get you started, but if you love cucumber, go ahead and add more. Don't like carrot as much? Go a little lighter with them.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces Breaded and Cooked Calamari
  • 1 ounce Cellophane Noodles, soaked according to the directions on the package and drained
  • Ginger Sesame Dressing, such as Simply Dressed
  • 8 cups Mild Salad Greens, such as baby romaine or green leaf lettuce
  • 1 Carrot, cut into thin shreds with a vegetable peeler
  • ½ Cucumber, cut into a small dice (about ⅓ cup)
  • 4 Tablespoons Chopped Peanuts
Preparation
  1. Prepare your calamari (either from scratch or according to the directions on the package) and drain well on a double layer of paper towels.
  2. Combine half the dressing with the softened noodles. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine the salad greens, shaved carrot, and cucumber.
  4. Add the noodles and remaining dressing and toss to combine. Divide between serving bowls and to with calamari and peanuts.

 

Comments

  1. Oh that looks yummy! I love ginger salad dressing – I’ll have to figure out where I can get stuff to make calamari but this sounds delish

    • Lauren Keating says:

      I was able to find it pretty easily at most grocery stores (including WalMart!). It’s usually frozen and can be found as breaded rings or naked.

  2. You keep reminding me of all these great restaurants in Philly and now i miss it!!! This one reminds me of the Calamri Salad at Continental Martini Bar – one of my cousins favorites. I’ll have to forward this to her :)

  3. I love the ‘concept’ of this salad. You can bet that when my CSA farm share starts back up in the spring and I’m getting their yummy salad mixes, I will check this bookmark and make some for my family.

    Thank you!

  4. Yum! I love calamari – I could eat an entire portion all on my own. I think I’d be okay doing that as long as I got an appropriate serving of veggies, like the ones in this salad, to go along with it.

  5. I really WANT to eat salads in the winter but yeah…it generally doesn’t happen lol. Love how hearty this is though!

    • Lauren Keating says:

      It’ just so hard to get excited about them this time of year, right?! I’m glad it’s not just me. I’m also having a hard time getting excited for…fish tacos. Totally random and doen’t seem like an exceptionally summery food but I bought stuff to make them a week and a half ago and keep finding excuses not to.

  6. I looove Calamari! But always feel guilty after eating fried foods. This is a perfect solution! The healthy salad cancels out the fat right? :)

    The Noshing Bride

    • Lauren Keating says:

      Absolutely! You don’t need many pieces to make the salad either, and the amount of oil they soak up is pretty negligible so it’s a pretty good way to get your calamari fix! The frozen ones I bought also had directions for sautéing, rather than deep frying (I’ll be honest and say I didn’t use that option though! ;))

  7. Abel Rago says:

    Asian food is every bit as diverse as it is delicious. I used to think that I knew Asian foods growing up. You see, we used to go out to Chinese and practically every weekend. They were a couple Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood, and they were perfect for us kids. They were greasy, flavorful, and we got a cookie at the end of every meal. What more could a child ask for?,

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  8. Roseanna Hostetter says:

    What I didn’t realize was how much better Asian food could be than what my experience of it was. A lot of Chinese cuisine in America is actually nothing like the traditional style. It is much too greasy, and dominated by a simple array of flavors that doesn’t really capture the complexity of Asian cooking..

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