Fried Calamari Recipe – also known as Salt and Pepper Squid

Fried Calamari Recipe – also known as Salt and Pepper Squid

Fried Calamari recipe or Salt and Pepper Squid is the ultimate fried calamari recipe; crispy, fiery exterior and soft tender center.. 

Fried calamari tends to conjure images of Greek islands and scoffing platefuls with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon and the sound of the waves.

My fried calamari recipe as heard on BBC Radio Weekend Kitchen Show – listen in here!

Salt and pepper squid is pretty much the same except with the addition of an aromatic dressing that gives a little Asian punch (which I do tend to love)…

Either way; fried calamari, salt and pepper squid – whatever recipe you’re after you’re covered – and if you want to see just how mouthwateringly delicious my fried calamari recipe is, watch my video:

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)!

Fried Calamari – “Hunger.. let me introduce you to Salt and Pepper Squid, the Asian equivalent of fried calamari..you’ve just been satisfied…”

Just to clarify the debate on how to cook deep fried calamari; there are two ways, fast or slow! Fried calamari works really well because you fry the squid really quickly (literally one minute) on a high heat, i.e. deep fried calamari. 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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Fried Calamari

Deep fried calamari (salt and pepper squid) – 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!)

Fried Calamari – 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!)

Fried Calamari – the 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!

Fried Calamari Recipe

Fried Calamari Asian style also known as Salt and Pepper Squid - delicious and quick to cook, creating crispy deep fried calamari!

Ingredients

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

Fried Calamari Dressing Ingredients:

  • 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!

Instructions

Fried Calamari - 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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!)

Fried Calamari - the Salt and Pepper Squid Dressing:

  1. In a separate saucepan pour in your olive oil and heat gently.
  2. Meanwhile; put the prepared garlic, spring onion, fresh chilli, pinch of chilli flakes and the Szechuan pepper corns on a plate and mix together.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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2 thoughts on “Fried Calamari Recipe – also known as Salt and Pepper Squid”

  • Outsanding twist on an Asian classic. The flour mix makes for a light crispy batter and the chillies add a lovely kick. Made this for the mother-in-law and she loved it. The Olive Oil dressing really brings the dish together and counters the heat in the dish wonderfully if you use a good quality oil. Made this a few times already, good work Theo.

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