Grilled Squid with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Rocket

This is my favourite way of cooking squid: the flavour of the squid can be lost in the oil when you fry it. Make sure that you don’t overcook the squid or it will become tough. Scoring the inside of the squid helps it to cook evenly.

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 6 minutes.

Recipe author: Aldo Zilli
Fish Cook, From Shrimp to Swordfish
Photography by David Munns

Reproduced courtesy of Jacqui Small publishing


Category:  Main Course Midweek Express  - 


For 4 people


  • 4 squid (350 g / 1 oz each), cleaned
  • 85 ml (3fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 250 g ( oz) wild rocket, washed and drained
  • lemon wedges to serve
  • 2 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 red chillies, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Grilled Squid with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Rocket Directions

  1. 1. Using a thin knife, score the inside of the squid to form a criss-cross pattern.

    2. Heat a grill pan to medium-hot. Place the squid, scored side down, on the pan and brush with a little of the oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 4-5 minutes, turn over, brush with more oil and season. Grill for a further 3-4 minutes until the squid begins to curl up at the edges and is tender. Slice each in half.

    3. Meanwhile, make the chilli sauce: in a food processor, blend the fish sauce, water, chilli, lemon juice and sugar and process for about 2-3 minutes until the dressing is smooth.

    4. Place the remainder of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a screw-top jar and shake vigorously to combine. Season to taste. Place the rocket in a large bowl and pour over the oil and vinegar dressing. Distribute the rocket between 4 plates and arrange the hot squid on top. Spoon over the chilli sauce and serve with lemon wedges.

    Alternative fish: octopus (cook for at least 5 minutes)