Florida Seafood Recipe: Tropical Pan-Asian Calamari Salad

East meets west with this recipe for tropical Pan-Asian calamari salad. Courtesy of Florida Chef Justin Timineri, this recipe offers a unique twist on a typically fried dish, adding a milieu of flavors, including ginger, rice wine, watermelon, red bell peppers and more.

Tropical Pan-Asian Calamari Salad - Fresh Florida Seafood Recipes - Chef Justin Timineri - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Tropical Pan-Asian Calamari Salad

Serves 6

  • 1½ pound calamari (squid), cleaned
  • 2 tbsp. light or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger root, freshly minced
  • 1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced across (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced paper thin
  • ¼ cup Florida cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)
  • 2 cups seedless Florida watermelon, seedless cut into small pieces
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Clean and rinse squid under cold running water, lightly pat dry with clean paper towels, cut tentacles and bodies into the same size, about 1/3 inch wide.
  2. Quickly cook squid in a 5 to 6 quart pot of rapidly boiling salted water, this only takes 30 to 40 seconds, until opaque. Drain and immediately immerse in a bath of ice water to stop cooking.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and pepper (red and black). Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine squid, bell pepper, watermelon and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, and allow to marinate at least 15 minutes.
  5. Garnish with pepper curls and fresh cilantro.


For more Florida seafood recipes, click here.

Chef Justin Timineri - Florida's Executive Chef - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The official Chef of Florida, Justin Timineri, shares some of his recipes with us. A proponent of eating healthy, locally-grown and harvested produce and seafood, Timineri’s recipes imbue that Fresh From Florida flavor. For more on chef Justin, click here.

   Recipes and images courtesy of Chef Justin Timineri and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more recipes coming from Timineri’s kitchen, click here.

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