Salt and pepper squid

Salt and pepper squid

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1kg squid
oil, for deep-frying

For the batter

Quantity Ingredient
1/4 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
30g cornflour
1 tablespoon sunflower or groundnut oil
2 egg whites

For the relish

Quantity Ingredient
1 red chilli
1 garlic clove
2.5 cm piece fresh root ginger
4 spring onions
1/2 bunch coriander
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
few drops sesame oil

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
2 limes


  1. Prepare the squid, scoring it just very lightly in a large diamond pattern so that it doesn’t take on too much batter. Cut the squid body into 4–5 cm squares or rectangles for a starter size, and slightly larger size for a main course.
  2. To prepare the relish, halve, deseed and finely chop the chilli, peel and thinly slice the garlic, peel the ginger and cut into fine julienne, and trim and thinly slice the spring onions on the diagonal. Pick the leaves off the coriander stalks. Cut the limes for serving into wedges. Set everything aside.
  3. Toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a frying pan over a low to medium heat until aromatic, taking care not to burn them or they will become bitter. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the salt, pepper and toasted peppercorns together until fine.
  4. Put the cornflour and pepper mix in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the oil and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites and oil, gradually drawing in the flour until you have a batter. If it is very thick, add extra egg white; it should be the consistency of double cream.
  5. One-third fill a deep, heavy saucepan with oil. Heat to 195°C, or until a piece of bread browns in 20 seconds. Dry the squid well, dip in the batter to coat well and deep-fry a few at a time for 30 seconds–1 minute, depending on thickness, until golden. Lift out, drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Heat the sunflower oil for the relish in a small frying pan, add the chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onions and fry over a high heat for a few seconds until fragrant. Remove from the heat, then add the sesame oil and coriander leaves.
  7. Pile the squid onto a serving dish, sprinkle the chilli mixture on top and serve with the lime wedges.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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