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Salt and Pepper Squid Recipe

Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid

There's nothing wrong with succumbing to the occasional takeaway, and I've recently been craving a lot of Chinese food. Our usual order includes Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls (for him) and Salt and Pepper Squid (for me).

The thing is, with seafood particularly, the portions can be rather parsimonious, so sometimes I'll crack out my wok and make a massive batch of my beloved S&P Squid just for me ...

Salt and Pepper Squid Recipe 

Serves 2-4

  • 2 large whole squid, cleaned and prepared, cut into rings, or into triangles and then scored in a diamond shape, plus tentacles 
  • 3 tbsp cornflour 
  • 3 tbsp plain flour 
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed 
  • 2 tsp sea salt 
  • 2 tbsp five spice
  • 1 egg white 
  • Groundnut or other flavourless oil for frying

  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced at an angle (keep white and green parts in two separate piles)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Thai chillies, preferably red, de-seeded and then thinly sliced at an angle

Dipping sauce 

  • 1 shallot, diced 
  • 1 Thai chilli, preferably red, sliced into rings 
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar 
  • Juice of 2 limes 

Make the dipping sauce first - put the shallot and chilli rings in a bowl and add the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Mix well and set to one side.

Make the garnish - heat two tablespoons of oil in a deep saucepan or wok, and then sauté the white parts of the spring onions, the garlic and the chillies for a couple of minutes until they brown a little and become fragrant. 

I ran out of red chillies

Drain thoroughly and set the now-crispy garnish to one side.

In a large bowl, mix the flours with the salt and peppercorns

Whisk the egg white with the five spice, and then dip the squid pieces in the egg white and then into the bowl of seasoned flour and toss till thoroughly coated.

Squid dipped in egg white

Fill the saucepan or wok half full of oil and heat till you can feel waves of heat coming off it or till it quickly browns a cube of bread that's chucked into it.

Put the squid into the wok a few pieces at a time and fry for 3–5 minutes until browned and crisp. Be careful not to overcrowd or the squid won't crisp up.

Remove the squid from the wok and drain on plenty of kitchen towel. 

Salt and pepper squid ready to go

When you've fried the whole batch, place in a serving dish and top with the crispy garnish and the reserved green spring onions, and eat immediately with the dipping sauce.


Sian Meades said…
This looks fab. One of my favourite things.
meemalee said…
Thanks, mine too!
Alicia Foodycat said…
One of my all-time favourite things but I have never managed to get it crispy like that! Time to have another go.
Anonymous said…
Who doesn't love S&P squid?? I always get it when we order takeaway Thai/Chinese/any other menu it's on. Might have to whip the wok out for this.
Hollow Legs said…
Kavey said…
Why couldn't you have moved next door to me? Your ma and pa could live on the other side? (WANT TO EAT THIS NOW)
Saya said…
Love for s and p squid is universal, let's face it - you're doing a public service here, thank you x
Helena Lee said…
yes please. This has to be one of the best underrated things to go with beer. I could eat vats.
tori said…
Amazing. Gosh this stuff is addictive.
Unknown said…

I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

Man and Van Guildford
@photorecipe said…
Thank´s for this recipe, it looks delicious and very easy to prepare!


Leigh said…
One of my favourite things in the world - I eat this fortnightly in the warmer months. Perfect with a chilled lager or Amber ale. Yum. Bring it on! winter sucks!