- 85g cornflour
- 85g plain flour
- 2 tsp black pepper, cracked
- 2 tbsp ground Szechuan peppercorns, roughly crushed
- sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying
- 400g squid, cleaned and cut into strips (see tips, below)
From the same family as the octopus and cuttlefish, squid may look jellyish and unappetising but…
- finely sliced spring onion and green chilli, to serve
Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…
For the dipping sauce
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To make the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved, then set aside. Mix the cornflour and plain flour with both peppers and 2 tsp sea salt in a large bowl, then set aside. Line a tray with kitchen paper and make sure you have more salt to sprinkle with.
Heat about 7cm of oil to 180C in a deep fryer, wok or deep pan. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test it with a cube of bread – it should brown in 20 secs. Coat the squid well with the flour mix and fry in batches for about 2 mins each or until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the squid, then drain on the kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little more salt. Serve the squid scattered with the spring onion and chilli, with the dipping sauce on the side.
When buying the squid for this recipe, ask your fishmonger for whole squid that has been completely cleaned. You will then be given the tentacles, which you leave whole, and the main tube. Cut open the tube so that you have a flat sheet (A), then cut this into finger-thick slices (B). You can buy frozen squid or rings, but fresh is best for flavour and texture.
This dish does require last-minute deep frying, but you can prepare everything else ahead. Take your cue from a restaurant kitchen and have the dip made, the flours mixed, the squid prepped and the garnish ready a good few hours in advance. Then when it comes to cooking, you just need to heat up the oil