Complimentary Recipe: Char Grilled Phu Quoc Salt and Chilli Squid


"This dish was taught to me by a local Phu Quoc fisherman. He told me he would regularly make this dish on board his boat, while out in the deep sea, where he would not have many ingredients to cook with. It took him only 30 seconds to describe the recipe to me. I also made this dish on a fishing boat, after catching my own squid. So try to get the freshest squid you can — alive and kicking if possible. As you can see, the recipe is incredibly simple, but it is oh so delicious." – Chef Luke Nguyen

SERVES 4-6, as part of a shared meal


1 whole squid
2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper


Pull away the squid’s head, slice it open and remove the guts, cartilage and ink sac. Pat both sides dry with paper towels or a clean cloth. Place on a chopping board, skin side up. Using a sharp knife, cut a crisscross pattern into the squid, being careful not to cut all the way through.

Pound the chilli to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Mix in the salt until well combined.

Evenly coat both sides of the squid with the salt and chilli mixture. Chargrill the squid over medium–high heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, put the lemon sauce ingredients in a dipping bowl and mix well.

Cut the squid into bite-sized pieces and serve with the lemon sauce.

Recipe from Luke’s Book, The Food of Vietnam. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen