Salt & Pepper Squid with Sweet & Sour Sauce

clock 15 minutes + 40 minutes bowl Serves 6


  • 5 squid tubes, thawed if frozen
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon sea salt flakes
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal flour
  • 1 litre vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon extra
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 sliced lime wedges
  • fresh coriander leaves, to garnishh
  • Sweet & sour sauce
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, cornstarch, water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
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  • Cut the squid tubes in half and use a sharp knife to score the tubes in a criss-cross pattern, making sure you don’t cut through the pieces. Cut each tube into quarters and set aside to dry on some paper towels.

  • Heat a dry frypan or a wok and add the black and Sichuan peppercorns. Toast for a minute or so until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and pestle along with the sea salt and crush into a powder. Set aside one-third of this mixture. Place the other two-thirds in a large bowl with the cornmeal flour and cornflour and mix to combine.

  • Heat the vegetable oil in the wok until it reaches 180ºC (see tip). Dip the squid pieces into the beaten egg followed by the flour mixture, making sure it is well coated. Fry the squid pieces in batches in the oil until golden making sure not to overcook it, about 2 minutes maximum. Stir the squid pieces while they are frying to ensure they don’t get stuck to the bottom of the wok.

  • Remove the squid pieces from the oil and set aside on a wire rack to drain. Meanwhile, heat the extra tablespoon of oil in a frypan. Add the chilli, spring onion and garlic and fry briefly until they start to caramelise. Add the squid to this pan and coat carefully with the garlic chilli mix.

  • Place the squid in a bowl and top with the reserved salt and pepper seasoning. Garnish with the coriander and serve with lime wedges and a side of the sweet and sour sauce.

  • To make the sweet and sour sauce, combine all the ingredients in a pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 2 minutes. Set aside

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