Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Salt and Pepper Fried Squid

"Salt and Pepper" is a common way of treating many traditional Chinese appetizers. I've been introduced to 2 versions of this cooking method. The first is a platter of some kind of deep fried food that is served with a mixture of salt and ground pepper on the side. I've seen this a lot as a kid when I was living in China, but that was probably more than 10 years ago.

 In the new version that I've become familiar with, the food is deep fried along with red and green chili peppers then sprinkled with seasoning after. Maybe these are differences of cuisine from the North and the South of China, hence I see more of the second version at dim sum. You can use this method with just about anything : tofu, chicken, fish, shrimp, ect... I will be frying squid this time because it's my dad's absolute favorite.

squid (3 or 4 large ones)
red chili peppers
green chili peppers
corn starch
salt and pepper

Slice open the squid from one side, open it up and score the inside skin with a knife in a criss cross pattern. I used frozen squid that has been thawed. Cut the scored squid into bite size pieces. Then finely dice the green and red chili peppers and the garlic.

Toss the squid in some corn starch until everything is evenly coated. Fry on high heat until the squid has curled up and has turned a golden brown. Pour off some of the deep frying oil and leave just enough to fry the peppers. Sprinkle a little bit of corn starch on the peppers and toss lightly so that the peppers and the squid has a similar density. Fry the peppers for 1-2 minutes then add the squid back in. Season well with salt and pepper and toss for a few more seconds.

Remove to a plate and serve.


  1. Oooooh, this dish looks and sounds delicious! Your picture is to die for!!! Do you score the inside or outside flesh of the squid? Doesn't the garlic burn if it is diced small? I would think the peppers would cook slower than the garlic. I like to make a quick lemon aoili using mayo, fresh squeezed lemon juice and minced garlic to dip my cooked squid in. Yum! My mouth is already watering!!!

    1. I score the inside of the flesh. I chop the garlic pretty fine but it didn't burn probably because I fried it very quick. It's just a very fast exposure to high heat so some flavours come out of the peppers and the garlic. To be safe, you can add in the peppers first, and then the garlic after a few seconds