My perfect Salt & Pepper Squid

Who doesn’t like a bit of salt and pepper squid in their life? There’s something about something being lightly battered, fried crisp and served with a delicious dipping sauce that finds me gravitating towards this dish any time I see it on a menu.

In our search for the perfect salt & pepper squid we have tried and tested quite a few recipes but seem to always gravitate back to this recipe for its lightness, crispness and tenderness. Potato flour (over corn or plain flour) makes for a light batter. A dry batter means our squid is crisp and scoring the squid keeps it nice and tender.

I like to nostalgically refer to this squid as twisties, as they do look kind of like twisites plus, I wouldn’t have a problem eating these by the packet load.

Salt & Pepper Squid with lemon dipping sauce

Recipe adapted from Secrets of the Red Lantern

  • 250g of squid tubes, cleaned
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 egg white
  • 1 scallion or spring onion
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, sliced

    Seasoning mix
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp five spice
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Open up the cleaned squid and cut a diamond criss-cross pattern on the inside in the flesh making sure not to cut through the squid. Cut the squid in half (from top to bottom), then turn horizontally and cut to form 1/2cm batons.

Next make the seasoning mix by combining the salt, pepper, five spice, sugar and ginger and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil to very high heat (180 celsius).

Whisk the egg white and add the sliced squid. Work in the potato starch a little at a time until the squid is well covered and is quite dry. Add pieces of squid to the hot oil a little at a time to prevent the squid from sticking. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the squid feels quite crisp when tapped by a wooden spoon.

Drain the squid in a colander to remove excess oil. Meanwhile, heat a separate clean wok or fry pan and heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the scallions, chilli and garlic and toss. Add the squid and toss. Shake the seasoning mixture through the squid and continue to toss.

Remove and serve with a squeeze of lemon. I sometimes like to make a lemon dipping sauce made with squeezed lemons and a bit of white pepper.

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