Monday, October 13, 2008

At home – Salt & (Chilli) Pepper Calamari (aka Deep fried squid)

A lot of people find squid intimidating. It is easy to see why as these creatures look like they belong to another planet. It is impossible to visualise how something good can come out of these slimy beasts.

There are other good reasons why squid could be daunting. For one, cleaning squid is an art. I’m sure you can Google this. Next, cooking them must be perfectly timed. You either cook them really quickly (like the recipe below) or stew them for hours. In the wrong hands squid might turn out to be the worst fodder on earth. But if done right…

My recipe below is similar to what they usually served at Yum Cha. Their good on their own as entrée or main with salad (or rice for us Pinoys).

Salt & (Chilli) Pepper Calamari

6 large squids (best to buy fresh rather than prepared squid tubes)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt (Iodized salt might be healthy but it does not taste good so don’t use it! Get your iodine fix elsewhere!)
1-2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
Lots of oil for deep frying

1. Clean the squid by separating the head from the body. Turn the body inside out to make sure nothing nasty is left in it. Cut off the eyes from the head but make sure the tentacles are intact.
2. Cut the body of the squid into rings. Marinate all the squid pieces in soy sauce for about half an hour.
3. Mix the flour, sea salt and chilli powder.
4. Heat up the oil in a deep pan or use a deep fryer. Test the oil by dropping a piece of squid. If it sizzles immediately then your oil is probably ready.
5. Coat the squid in the flour mix a handful at a time. Shake the excess flour off.
6. Drop the squid pieces in the hot oil. It should be ready in less than a minute.
7. Drain excess oil and serve with lemon wedges.

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