10g (½ cup) dried, sliced shiitake
50g (1 small bundle) dried vermicelli (cellophane) noodles
6 squid bodies, fresh or frozen
250g pork mince
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 dried chillies, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
¼ teaspoon white pepper
pinch salt and sugar
2 spring onions, finely chopped
½ cup coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1-2 red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 handfuls iceberg lettuce leaves
fresh herbs such as mint, Vietnamese mint, coriander and basil

While I love the texture that cellophane noodles provide I’m often infuriated by the mess they make when trying to separate them out – I’ve found the solution is to buy packets where they are bundled into small portions of around 50g, which are perfect to use here. I used frozen squid bodies, but you could use fresh. Incidentally this mix is delicious used as a filling for dumplings.


1.Soak the mushrooms in 1⁄2 cup boiling water for 30 minutes.
2.Drain (reserve the soaking liquid for another use) and chop finely.
3.Cover the noodles in boiling water for 4 minutes, drain, refresh in cold water and roughly chop.
4.If you are using fresh squid, pull the head from body, remove the cartilage, rinse the squid and pat dry.
5.Discard the head, but finely chop the tentacles.
6.In a bowl combine the mushrooms, noodles and squid tentacles, pork mince, lemongrass, shallot, garlic, dried and fresh chilli, fish sauce, pepper, salt, sugar, spring onions and coriander.
7.Stuff into the squid body (but don’t overfill) and secure the filling with a toothpick.
9.Put the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan with 1⁄4 cup water.
10.Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
11.Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
12.Stir in the remaining ingredients then taste and adjust the amount of lime juice and fish sauce if necessary to balance the flavour.
14.Heat a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the oil and add the squid to the pan.
15.Cook for 12-15 minutes, turning every so often.
16.Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
17.Serve with the dipping sauce, lettuce and herbs.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Ellen J Hemmings

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