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Salt and Pepper Squid

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  • 9 oz squid rings or bite sized pieces

For deep-frying

  • 7 tablespoon all-purpose flour divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper seasoning - see note 1 & 2 for homemade recipe and substitutes
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • Cooking oil - for deep frying

For stir-frying

  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • Minced fresh chilli - to taste
  • 1 stalk scallions finely chopped
  • teaspoon salt and pepper seasoning - or to taste


  • Mix 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, salt and pepper seasoning with water to form a semi runny paste. Add it to the squid. Stir well to ensure an even and thorough coating.
  • In a plate, mix the remaining 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with cornstarch and baking powder. Put the squid, piece by piece, into the plate and generously coat its entire surface with the dry mix. Lay every finished piece onto a tray without touching one another.

Deep fry

  • Heat the oil for deep frying in a wok until it reaches 180°C/350°F (see note 3). Gently slide in the squid to fry. Do not overcrowd. You probably need to cook in 2-3 batches.
  • Once the squid becomes lightly golden, transfer out to a colander or over kitchen paper.

Stir fry

  • Carefully pour out the hot oil leaving just a coating of oil in the wok. Add garlic, ginger and fresh chilli to the hot wok. Fry until fragrant.
  • Put in the squid and scallions. Give everything a quick stir then dish out. Sprinkle salt and pepper seasoning over then serve warm.


  • Salt and pepper seasoning can be found in Chinese stores. It can also be made from scratch.
    Here is how: Add 1 teaspoon of whole Sichuan pepper, ½ star anise, ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds, ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds and 4 teaspoons of salt to a pan. Toast over low heat until the salt grains become a little yellow.
    Leave to cool then grind in a mortar or a spice grinder until powdery.
  • You can replace salt and pepper seasoning with a mixture of fine salt and five-spice powder or ground Sichuan pepper.
  • If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, check the temperature by testing one piece of squid. You should see bubbles immediately appearing.

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