Friday, February 16, 2024
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Really Crispy Salt & Pepper Squid

Lastly cracked the code to Really Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid!! The fry batter is so crunchy it stays crispy even when it’s gone chilly, and it’s in no way greasy. There’s no difficult steps or substances. Only a particular ratio of flour to cornflour plus an all-important 30 minute refrigeration for the batter!

Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid


  1. Particular ratio of cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with common flour for final crunch in a really brief frying time so the squid doesn’t overcook.

  2. A contact of baking powder retains the batter gentle reasonably than dense.

  3. We examined different starch choices – rice flour, potato, tapioca – however the texture and/or crispiness wasn’t pretty much as good.

  4. Resting the batter develops gluten so it clings to slippery squid higher and the crust isn’t greasy or chewy.

  5. The shock of chilled batter hitting scorching oil makes a crispier crust.

  6. Double frying – quickly grow to be the worst stored Asian secret for extremely crispy not-greasy fried meals!

Extremely Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid

It solely took us 3 years to crack the final word, actually crispy Salt and Pepper Squid! Hand on coronary heart, that is crispier than any fried squid I’ve had in a restaurant, ever. And I’ve tried a lot. As soon as I had my sights set of making an ideal Salt and Pepper Squid recipe, I’d by no means cross up a possibility if I noticed it on a menu.

95% of the time, they simply weren’t crispy in any respect which is so disappointing, and all too usually they have been actually greasy. The 5% of the time that they have been crispy, the crispness actually solely lingered for simply sufficient time to eat the bowl of squid – supplied you ate very shortly!

Properly, our hunt for crispy squid is lastly over. It’s right here immediately, and it’s unbelievable! The fry batter is gentle, tremendous crunchy and never greasy in any respect. The truth is, it’s so crispy it stays crispy even when it’s stone chilly!

** Should you’re within the recipe growth course of, see the blue field under the substances part for extra info the place I’ve indulged in some background info!**

Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid


Right here’s what it’s worthwhile to make Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid.

The squid

You should utilize both squid tubes which might be bought already cleaned (proper, under) or complete child squid (left) which must be cleaned earlier than use (ask your fish monger or do it your self). Child squid is nicer as a result of the squid flesh is thinner and extra delicate so it’s softer. Plus, the tentacles are the crunchiest! However under no circumstances are cleaned squid tubes a poor cousin.

  • Child squid is bought complete with the pinnacle and tentacles connected, and the pores and skin on, as pictured. They vary in measurement however the ones pictured have a physique and head about 20 cm / 8” lengthy and tentacles roughly the identical size. 

    The physique (the tube half) and the tentacles are the edible components. You may both ask your fish monger to scrub the squid for you or do it your self, see my separate tutorial right here. It entails: eradicating the pores and skin, cleansing out the center, eradicating the cartilage and beak, and eradicating the pinnacle. 

  • Squid tubes – Offered pre cleaned, glowing white tubes prepared to be used! Handier, however it’s much less tender than child squid just because the meat comes from a bigger, older squid so it’s thicker. It’s identical to animal meat – youthful, smaller animal = softer meat, however meat from older animals is under no circumstances powerful and chewy if cooked appropriately. (And sure, we prepare dinner the squid appropriately!!)

The crispy batter for squid

We discovered that the important thing to the extremely crispy batter for squid got here right down to utilizing the appropriate flours (cornflour + common flour), the proper ratio and the clincher: refrigerating the batter for half-hour. Should you’re a meals nerd like me who’s within the logic of the why this batter works, learn under for extra info!

  • Flour and cornflour/cornstarch – Simply common plain flour (all-purpose flour). We use a really particular ratio of every to attain the appropriate stage of crispiness and golden color. It’s because cornflour makes issues crispy however received’t fry up golden, and for those who use an excessive amount of, the batter is chewy and will get caught in your tooth. Then again, flour batters fry up fantastically golden however aren’t as crispy, they usually soften so shortly. So I take advantage of each!

  • Baking powder – This makes the batter puff up a bit to make it lighter reasonably than dense.

  • Common faucet water – I take advantage of ice chilly soda water in different fry batters as a secret trick for crunch. However for this recipe as a result of we have to refrigerate anyway, there’s no want to make use of chilly water. And there’s no level utilizing fizzy water as a result of the fizziness wouldn’t final for the refrigeration time.

  • Salt and pepper – for seasoning.

Cooking Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid

BACKGROUND: DEVELOPING the batter for squid

I actually thought it could be so simple as utilizing the battered fish or Chinese language Honey Rooster fry batters, however they simply weren’t appropriate for squid! Partially as a result of squid are slippery little suckers which require a batter that adheres higher, and in addition as a result of it cooks quicker so the batter needs to be designed to crisp up in a shorter time.

The starch is the largest variable

In the case of fry batters, the factor that impacts the crispiness probably the most is the starch used. Common flour will make batters that adheres to meals nicely and it fries up into a stunning golden crust. But it surely doesn’t go as crispy as cornflour (cornstarch) and different gluten-free starches comparable to rice flour and potato flour.

After eliminating rice flour, potato flour and others we tried comparable to tapioca, we landed on cornflour as the perfect starch to mix with common flour. Why not simply use cornflour, if it fries up so crunchy? As a result of the crust is not going to fry up golden (it stays white which isn’t as interesting) and although crispy, the feel is hard and will get caught in your tooth.

So mainly, we needed to mess around varied ratios of normal flour and cornflour till we got here up with the appropriate mixture that delivered a lightweight, very crispy crust with the correct amount of crunch, the appropriate golden color and a suitable crunch staying-power.

Early iterations we made have been both too powerful, too chewy, too fragile and lots of, many variations we made have been merely not crispy sufficient!

Fridge batter resting

And the ultimate key to unlock the door to the world of extremely crispy salt and pepper squid was to refrigerate the batter. Most of my different fry batters depend on ice chilly soda water to relax the batter (resulting in crispy crust when shocked by the new oil) and for the fizz to offer some carry.

Nevertheless, for the squid batter, we discovered it was finest to relaxation the batter for half-hour to permit the gluten to relaxation and develop so the batter would cling to the slippery squid higher. In doing so, this chilled the batter so utilizing chilly soda water wasn’t mandatory, simply common faucet water was tremendous. And a smidge of baking powder took care of the carry half!

PS “We” is RecipeTin’s Chef JB and me. It was principally JB who did the groundwork with me beside him on the crispy squid journey, consuming and analysing and drawback fixing. For recipe growth tasks like this we method it in a really methodical manner, altering one variable at a time and doing plenty of analysis, just like the frying traits and liquid absorbency of various starches. I do know, I’m SUCH a dork!

~~~ END of nerdy meals discuss 😅~~~

make salt and pepper squid

Chopping the squid

If utilizing cleaned squid tubes (pictured above), you can begin with these steps instantly. In case you have complete child squid (with the pores and skin, head and tentacles, you will want to scrub it first. See the separate put up on tips on how to clear and put together child squid right here.

  1. Minimize down one facet of the tube so you possibly can lay it out flat. Pat each side dry with paper towels.

  2. Rating – Flippantly rating the flesh utilizing a small sharp knife into 1.5cm / 0.6” diamonds. Take care to not reduce all over. Scoring the flesh creates extra ridges so the squid fries up crunchier and permits it to prepare dinner quicker and extra evenly which suggests extra tender squid.

  1. Rectangles – Then reduce the squid into rectangles about 5 x 2 cm / 2 x 1” in measurement. Exactness isn’t vital right here.

  2. Wings – Should you used child squid, rating the wings too (the flappy bits pulled off the tube) then simply use them complete. You don’t must do something to organize the tentacles although you can separate them if you need so that you get extra tentacle items. They are the crunchiest bits in spite of everything, all people needs them!


That is really a very good recipe to start out with if you’re new to oil frying as a result of small items of squid are straightforward to deal with and it cooks in simply a few minutes. A lot simpler than, say, Southern Fried Rooster!

  1. Batter – Whisk the flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Then whisk within the water till lump free.

  2. Refrigerate for half-hour. Don’t skip or shortcut this step! It’s vital to offer the batter time for the gluten to develop which can make the batter cling to the slippery squid higher in addition to frying up good and crisp, reasonably than chewy and greasy.

  1. Batter up – Put all of the squid into the batter. We’ll fry them in 3 batches and the remaining squid can keep within the batter when you fry.

    Choose up a chunk of squid and let the surplus batter drip off for a second.

  2. Fry – Rigorously put the squid into oil preheated to 160°C/320°F the oil (I take advantage of my Thermapen). Fry for two minutes (child squid) or 3 minutes (the squid tubes that are thicker). They need to be gentle golden and a bit crispy, however not tremendous crispy – that comes with the second fry!

    The fry time is brief as a result of squid cooks actually shortly, and no one needs chewy squid.

  1. Drain – Scoop the squid out with a spider or slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined tray to soak up extra oil. Then proceed to prepare dinner batches 2 and three.

  2. Fry 2 for crispiness – Now, crank up the oil to 200°C/390°F. Then fry the squid in 2 batches for simply 90 seconds till it’s very golden and really crispy. That is the step that locks within the crispiness!

    You are able to do this step in 2 batches, it’s alright to crowd the pot.

  1. Bowl – Scoop out the squid right into a paper towel lined bowl. Style first earlier than sprinkling with salt and pepper (the batter has respectable seasoning in it so you don’t want to over salt!) and giving it a very good toss.

  2. Serve – Pour right into a bowl (wait till you hear the clatter within the recipe video!) and serve with Garlic Mayonnaise (Aioli) if desired (actually simply mayo + grated garlic). Or simply some contemporary lemon wedges.

    Look how comfortable I’m! It’s, after all, as a result of the batter is so extremely crispy and the squid is so tender!!!

Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid
Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid

This recipe makes a pretty big batch utilizing 500g/1 lb of squid which, as soon as fried up, will fill a tray. As with most fried meals, I determine if we’re going to make it, let’s make a lot!

It’s a meal for 4 to five folks or an ideal appetiser for sharing for six to eight folks. And although at its prime freshly cooked, this exceptional fry batter crust will keep crunchy even when the squid is chilly and it reheats extremely nicely. Simply pop the squid in a scorching oven for six minutes simply to reheat the crust and heat the squid inside. Take a chunk and marvel on the re-incarnation of the crunch!! – Nagi x

Watch tips on how to make it

See separate tutorial for tips on how to clear child squid referenced within the video right here.

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Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid

Crispy Salt & Pepper Squid


Faucet or hover to scale

Recipe video above. It solely took us 3 years to crack the final word, actually crispy Salt and Pepper Squid! Hand on coronary heart, that is crispier than any squid I’ve had in a restaurant, ever. The fry batter is gentle, tremendous crunchy and never greasy in any respect. The truth is, it is so crispy it stays crispy even when it is stone chilly!After eliminating rice flour, potato flour and tapioca, we discovered the proper ratio of flour to cornflour (cornstarch) that fries up crunchy in mere minutes, earlier than the squid can overcook. However the closing key was refrigerating the batter for half-hour. This allowed the gluten to develop so the batter clings to the slippery squid higher and does not fry up chewy or greasy.


Squid – select (Notice 1):

Straightforward aioli (garlic mayonnaise):


Making ready squid:

  • Minimize one facet of the squid tube to put it out in a single flat piece. Pat each side dry with a paper towel.

  • Flippantly rating the within with a small sharp knife in 1.5 cm / 0.6″ diamonds (do not reduce all over). (Notice 3)

  • Minimize the squid into items 5 x 2cm (2 x 1″) rectangles (roughly).


  • Batter – Whisk the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Then whisk in water till clean. Refrigerate for half-hour. (Notice 4)

  • Warmth oil – Fill small heavy based mostly pot or massive saucepan with 4cm / 1.5″ of oil. Warmth to 160°C/320°F on medium excessive warmth. (I take advantage of a Thermapen to test the temp)
  • Give the batter a fast whisk then add all of the squid in a toss to coat.

Fry 1:

  • Batter – Cook dinner the squid in 3 batches. Choose up some squid and let the surplus batter to drip off. Cautious place within the oil. Use chopsticks to seperate the items that stick collectively.

  • Fry child squid for two minutes or the common squid tubes for 3 minutes till gentle golden. Use a spider or slotted spoon to take away the squid on a paper towel lined tray.

  • Repeat – Fry remaining squid, ensuring the oil comes again to temperature earlier than prepare dinner batches 2 and three.

Fry 2 – crisp it!

  • Improve oil temp – Improve the range to excessive and convey the the oil as much as 200°C/390°F.

  • Bowl – Line a big mixing bowl with double layer of paper towels.

  • Fry – Place half of the squid within the oil (it is alright to crowd the pot). Cook dinner for 1 1/2 minutes, till it turns into deep golden and crispy. Take away into the bowl. Deliver the oil again as much as 200°C/390°F then fry the remaining squid.

  • Season – Take away paper towel. Style first then sprinkle evenly with as a lot salt and pepper as you need (the batter has salt in in it already). Toss nicely.

Recipe Notes:

Servings – This can serve 4 to five as a primary, or 6 to eight as an appetiser. See under for reheating.
1. Squid – Complete child/medium squid (bought with pores and skin, head and so on on) is smaller and extra tender when cooked than the bigger thicker squid tubes bought already cleaned (however continues to be superb on this recipe and I’ll fortunately use!). Plus with complete squid you get tentacles that are the crunchiest and better part! See photographs in put up for comparability. Get complete squid cleaned by your fisher monger or see my separate tutorial right here for tips on how to clear it your self (it’s not arduous). 700g (1.4 lb) complete child squid = 500g (1 lb) as soon as cleaned.
2. Cornflour = crunch however doesn’t fry golden, and an excessive amount of makes a batter that will get caught in your tooth. Flour = not as crunchy however stays golden. Utilizing a mixture works finest!
3. Scoring – Helps with additional crispy edges and even, quick cooking = extra tender squid.
4. Refrigeration – Lets gluten develop so batter sticks higher to slippery squid and received’t be chewy or greasy when fried.
Leftovers will preserve for 3 days. It’s going to nonetheless be crispy when it cools. Refrigerate then reheat in a 220°C/425°F oven for six to eight minutes.
Diet – I can’t calculate, sorry! I can’t guess the quantity of oil in each bit. Let’s simply say it has extra energy than a lettuce leaf however with one chunk you received’t care.

Extra crunchy fried goodness

Lifetime of Dozer

There isn’t any restrict to how low I’ll stoop for him. 😂



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