Deep Fried Calamari Recipe - Salt and Pepper Squid Recipe by Theo Michaels

Salt and Pepper Squid – Deep Fried Calamari Asian Style

Salt and Pepper Squid is the ultimate deep fried calamari; crunchy, crispy, fiery and fragrant. Delicious enough, but awesome when dressed with a fragrant & spicy Asian topping.

Watch my video recipes of me making salt and pepper squid (deep fried calamari with Asian dressing).

As featured on BBC Radio Weekend Kitchen Show – listen in here!

Totally irresistible, a joy to share – but oh so much more fun to devour on your own! My salt and pepper squid recipe is is two recipes in one – deep fried calamari on their own are a delight, but jazzed up with an Asian style dressing that packs a fiery punch is delicious.

Check out my recipe at the end for the Salt and Pepper Squid version of my deep dried calamari. Remember to get your chopsticks out (oh, who am I kidding; just use your fingers and eat the damn sexy little critters)!

Hunger.. let me introduce you to Salt and Pepper Squid, the Asian equivalent of deep fried’ve just been satisfied…

Just to clarify the debate on how to cook calamari; there are two ways, fast or slow! Deep fried calamari works really well because you cook the squid really quickly (literally one minute) on a high heat, i.e. deep fried. Alternatively slow cooking a large squid in a stew or paella turns the notoriously tough cephalopods into tender pieces of aquatic flesh..

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Salt and Pepper Squid:

Deep fried calamari – Ingredients:

2-3 small squid per person (about 4 inches long – the squid that is, not the person).
1 egg
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
2 heaped tablespoons corn flour
1 heaped tablespoon ground chilli
1 heaped tablespoon chilli flakes (with a little extra)
Vegetable Oil – enough to deep fry in a saucepan
3 tablespoon of light Olive oil
1 spring onion finely sliced
1 clove garlic finely diced
1 red chilli chopped
1/2 lime
Fresh coriander chopped
1/2 tablespoon Szechuan pepper corns (optional!)

Salt and Pepper Squid – Method:

  1. Prepare dusting: in a bowl add the two types of flour, the ground chilli and a heaped tablespoon of chilli flakes and give a good mix.
  2. Prepare egg wash: lightly whisk one egg with a dash of water into another bowl.
  3. Now for the squid – make sure it is cleaned (your fish monger can do this, any bought from the supermarket are usually cleaned already). NB. ‘clean’ just means the dark membrane on the exterior of the squid is removed (if your squid looks white – it has been removed!) and the guts, beak and quill has been removed from inside. This is a link to the BBC website on how to prepare squid from scratch.
  4. Cut the squid into 1 inch thick rings and drop into your egg wash including the tentacles. Remove the squid from the egg wash, shake to remove excess egg and drop into the dusting. You will want to get your hands dirty at this stage and make sure none of the squid is sticking together and they are fully coated in the dusting.
  5. Heat your saucepan of vegetable oil until when you drop some flour into it, it sizzles immediately (but not hot enough that the oil is smoking – sort of a medium/high heat).
  6. Once the oil is hot enough remove the squid from the dusting, shake lightly to remove excess flour and carefully drop the pieces of squid into the oil, nudge around to avoid them sticking together.
  7. 1 minute! Literally 1 minute later start to remove the squid and rest on a paper towel, season with a little salt (if using larger squid they may need an extra 30 seconds).

There you have deep-fried calamari! You could just give them a squeeze of lemon and devour the lot! However, for this recipe we have a dressing to make (so take that out of your mouth NOW!)

Salt and Pepper Squid Dressing:

  1. In a separate saucepan pour in your olive oil and heat gently. Meanwhile; put the prepared garlic, spring onion, fresh chilli, pinch of chilli flakes and the Szechuan pepper corns on a plate and mix together. Once the oil is hot (just on the verge of smoking) gently and carefully pour the oil over the ingredients on the plate. Stir them a little.
  2. Finally, it’s time to dress your squid; using a fork simply slide off the dressing ingredients onto the squid (trying to avoid pouring out all the oil) give it a good mix with your hands to coat, garnish with some chopped fresh coriander and a tiny squeeze of lime juice.

Goes well with a cold beer and solitary confinement to avoid other pesky fingers trying to steal your lovely deep fried calamari!