Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Szechuan Squid with Sweet Chilli Sauce

Since I first cooked squid a month or so ago, I've now managed to use it three or four times* But every time I've picked some up from the fishmongers I've always known what I really wanted to do...

...
...
...
yeah baby, dunk it in some spices and deep fry it!

It's taken 29 years, but the true Scot in me is finally coming out! To paraphase one of my favourite bloggers: why sauté when you can deep-fry... And never more so than this past week. In order to prepare one of the dishes** for Tried and Tasted I've converted my broken pressure cooker into a deep fryer for a while. And I can't stop frying things!

I've never really deep-fried anything much before. I made these mixed pakora a few months back - but even then I was using someone else's deep fryer - and had to get him to work it for me! Yet last night I even found myself deep-frying egg noodles - just to see what would happen***.

So, anyway, back to the squid. I'd been wanting to deep fry some squid for ages, and my fishmonger just happened to have some beautiful specimen in the day after I created my impromptu deep fryer...

I went for an Asian twist on the calamari theme, using a fair whack of szechuan pepper in the dredging flour. I also cut them into scored strips - for some utterly bizarre reason I still have a distaste for squid rings. But I do love the tentacles!

Is it big headed to say these were the best calamari I've ever had? The coating was so crunchy and flavourful - I ended up just pigging out on these and passed on my main! Even if you don't try the flavours - have a go at this 'batter' method - it was so effective.






* Yes, I have a bit of a backlog of posts to publish at the moment!
** Yep, that dish ain't up yet either - but it's underway and will be with you soon!
*** As it turns out, dust them with garam masala, chill powder and a wee bit salt and they're lovely... Just don't put too much in. I almost had an oil explosion. Note to self, don't get cocky with boiling fat.


Szechuan Squid with Sweet Chilli Sauce



  • 2 large squid, cleaned and cut into scored strips
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 5 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp white flour
  • 1 tbsp szechuan pepper corns
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Prepare the squid...
Place the squid and the garlic into the milk and set aside in the fridge for at least an hour. Apparently this softens the squid, but I used it mostly to create a self-making batter...

Mix up the flour...
Pound the peppers, salt and chilli in a mortar and pestle, mix with the two flours in a food bag.

Prepare the squid (part deux)...
Pour off the milk from the squid, and shake off the excess - don't worry about being too thorough though.

Put the squid in the bag with the flour/spice mix and shake very well until all the squid is coated.

Remove the squid from the bag and shake off the excess. Leave the squid in the fridge for a further half hour - this will set the milk with the flour - and become your crunchy batter.
That's the most important bit - try not to skip it!

Prepare the chilli sauce...
Put 6 chopped chillies, 1oog sugar, 50ml vinegar and 50 ml water into a sauce pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes!

Cook!
Heat the oil so that a cube of bread takes about 30 seconds to brown. (or a cooked noodle - that's how it all started ;). Fry off the squid in a couple of batches, making sure you don't over crowd the pan. I let mine cook for about 45-60 seconds - cook for longer at your peril!






Related Posts



9 comments:

glamah16 said...

Im flying over. Saveme some.

Peter M said...

Kittie, I'm shocked that a Scottish lass is bashful when it comes to frying. Aren't you folks responsible for deep-fried Mars bars?

I'm pleasantly surprised at your creativity in banging out such creative dishes. I'd love to cook with you (I don't extend that offer much).

cookinpanda said...

This sounds pretty awesome. I've never tried cooking squid before... this seems like a wonderful place to start.

kittie said...

Glamah - sorry, but saving some is just not an option - they only lasted 10 minutes! However, let me know your flight times and I'll knock you up a batch ;)

Peter - Thank you! I think a Greek/Scottish cook off would be fabulous! Btw, if you think deep-fried Mars bars are bad, you really don't want to know about pizza crunches... I'm happy to say I've never tried either!

cookinpanda - try it, it is my new favourite thing, and not scary at all! Just get your fishmonger to clean it for you ;)

Jeff said...

This looks awesome and makes me sad all at the same time. My favorite fish market decided to relocate and has not reopened yet. No squid for me and actually a good thing because my bank account loves me right now.

diva said...

mm. u gotta love squid! it's so wonderful. definitely am liking the sweet chilli idea.

Kevin said...

That looks good. I have been wanting to try cooking quid for a while now.

kittie said...

jeff - I know how you feel, I think my bank manager would appreciate some lentil and pasta dishes right about now! I hope your fish market reopens soon though, you can't beat real fresh fish :)

diva - I'm so glad I got over my (now seemingly bizarre!) dislike for squid, i love it too!

kevin - give it go, it is really so ridiculously simple and quick to cook... not to mention tasty!

Viagra Online said...

Excellent thanks a lot looks delicious, I remember that eaten this in a restaurant before and the chef didn't want to tell me the recipe hahaha