Thai Charred Squid (Pla Muek Yang)
Long before she owned a driver’s license or a restaurant—Kin Khao in San Francisco—Pim Techamuanvivit was a connoisseur of Thailand’s best roadside treats. This grilled squid dish, covered in a tangy sauce and topped with peanuts and cilantro, is one of her favorites.
- 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 6 green birds eye chiles, stemmed, seeds removed, and roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup palm sugar
- 5 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 lb. squid tubes and tentacles, cleaned
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- Chopped peanuts, for garnish
- Roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Combine garlic and chilies in a mortar and pestle and pound until it forms a paste; add sugar and grind until sugar has dissolved. Add fish sauce and lime juice and stir to combine. Set sauce aside. Working with one squid at a time, make 1″ cuts on squid tubes about halfway through; season with salt and pepper. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.) Brush squid with oil and, using a grill press, cook, until charred and cooked, 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with sauce; sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.