South-East Asia doesn't do the heavy food found in colder regions to the north, which makes it the perfect place to source some lighter spring recipes. Fresh herbs, citrus flavours, light broths and fast cooking techniques bring a sense of bright delicacy and grace to these dishes.
60g glass noodles (mung-bean vermicelli)
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
4 tbsp mint leaves
350g minced chicken or pork
4 prawns, minced
2 shallots, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
3 tsp caster sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
Salt and pepper
4 cleaned squid bodies, about
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp lime juice
1 mild red chilli, finely sliced
Cover noodles with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain and roughly chop. Soak mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and mince, discarding stalks.
Finely chop 2 tablespoons mint. Mix chicken with prawns, one-third of the noodles, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, coriander, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, chopped mint leaves, salt and pepper, until well combined. Stuff each squid body full and close the end with strong toothpicks.
Heat oil and fry squid over gentle heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally until filling is cooked through and squid is golden.
Prick with a skewer to release any excess water. Whisk remaining fish sauce and sugar with lime juice, remaining whole mint leaves and chilli. Toss remaining noodles in the dressing.
Thickly slice the squid and serve on top.