Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid
Salt and pepper squid is easy to make, perfectly tender and crispy fried squid. Do you like fried squid? I am addicted to crispy salted fried foods and make them once in a while, especially during weekends. Fried calamari or squid is a popular restaurant appetizer. Salt and pepper squid is a deep-fried crunchy aromatic squid. This might look simple, and yes it is! Batter fried squid sprinkled with salt and pepper, aromatic Chinese five spices and tossed with fried garlic and ginger. That’s it! it really doesn’t get any easier than that! This simple and flavorful fried squid is an addictive snack/ appetizer and is a pure joy to indulge with.
Squid is a popular seafood. You can now find it everywhere as a fast food or street food or maybe in a more formal sit-down restaurant menu. Back home in Kerala, my mom cooks squid in so many different ways. For me cooking squid was intimidating, to begin with. Overcooking tends to make the meat tough and chewy. But I soon learned that it is good to use high heat and quick cooking methods to make tender succulent squid. Frying the squid has always yielded consistent results. The key for perfectly tender, crispy squid is high oil temperature and two to three minutes of deep-frying. Squid is versatile and has a mild flavor. This salt and pepper squid recipe is perfect as it complements the mild flavor with a subtle peppery heat. This is an impressive dish, perfect for entertaining. Give this recipe a try, you will surely love it.
This recipe is inspired from the book Everyday Chinese Cooking by Leeann Chin and Katie Chin. The original recipe was with quail, but I used squid instead. You can also make it with shrimp.
The batter is all-purpose flour and corn starch which gives the batter a light and airy texture. I have used one tablespoon of rice flour and half egg for a little crunchy chewy coating. If you like to have a gluten-free recipe you can just use corn starch and rice flour to make the batter.
The other aromatic ingredients are of coarse salt and pepper, garlic and ginger and aromatic five-spice powder. It is mildly pungent and as the name suggests is a spice blend of star anise, Sichuan pepper, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon. If you like you can add extra Sichuan pepper for a bold and assertive peppery flavor. Hot Thai red chilly is also optional.
How to make Salt and pepper Squid
Cooking time- 20 minutes
Recipe type- Snack/ Appetizer
Squid- 1 pound
Ginger paste- 1 tsp
Shaoxing wine- 1 tbs
Salt and pepper to taste
The flour mix
All purpose flour- 3 tbs
Corn Starch-3 tbs
Rice flour- 1 tbs
Egg- 1/2 an egg
To stir fry
Garlic pods- 5
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Five spice powder- 1/3 tsp
Green onions, Thai hot red chilly, dry chilly
Cut the squid into small bite-size pieces. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, a tablespoon of Shaoxing wine, ginger paste and mix well. Let it marinate for 5-6 minutes.
To make the batter, in a large mixing bowl add corn starch, all-purpose flour, rice flour and mix well. Remove a tbs of flour for later use. Add the marinated squid and dredge your squid with the flour. Whisk in half of the egg and mix well. Sprinkle the rest of the flour and toss well. Shake off the excess flour.
In a medium deep pan heat oil. When the oil temperature reaches 325 degrees F, it is ready. Fry the squid pieces in batches. Using a slotted spoon turn and fry the squid for two to three minutes. When it changes color to golden, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. In the same way, fry the rest of the squid.
Heat one tbsp of oil in a pan. Add finely minced garlic and saute for a minute or till the raw flavor disappears. Add the chopped green onions, Thai red chilly and dry chilly and saute for a minute. Add the fried squid and sprinkle, salt, pepper, and five-spice powder. Give it a good mix and it is ready to be served. If you like you can squeeze lemon juice, before serving.
Hope you will all enjoy!