When it comes to crispy fried squid, Mr C really knows what he’s talking about. Many a chef have tried to imitate his recipe, many have failed and given up, some got close – but no cigar.
Getting squid right can be tricky, especially for it to maintain its crispness, whilst being careful not to over cook it. When heated, squid protein becomes firm rapidly and then turns chewy. Much of the squid’s reputation as a tough food comes from lack of knowledge of this simple fact.
Squid as food is prepared in many different ways in various regions of the world. It can be grilled, added to various cooking preparations including pasta, or fried in cooking oil either plain or battered and served with a choice of dips and/or sauces.
This is a recipe I picked up whilst working in Kilburn, where it has proved to be a popular appetiser and bar snack. Buying fresh squid and precise preparation is absolutely key to executing this recipe. If possible, buy whole squid with the skin intact and get your fish monger to clean it for you. A shiny, pink speckled skin is a good indication of freshness.
Squid is a rich source of nutrients and can help you maintain a healthy diet (click here to see 10 health benefits of squid) as well as doing wonders for your libido, as it’s a good food source for zinc, manganese and high in the recommended daily intake of copper, selenium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin. So here’s the recipe that won’t let you down…this is the crispiest squid in the world…ever!
4 Tbsp cornflour
1 Large free range egg
4 Tbsp potato starch powder
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp ground white pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Using a sharp knife, remove the tentacles from the squid and trim. Slice the bodies down one side and open out to give a flat piece. Remove any cartilage left.
2. Holding the knife at a 45°angle, score the flat pieces with a criss-cross pattern then cut each piece into four, also whilst holding the knife at a 45° angle.
3. Beat the egg and mix together the cornflour, salt, white pepper. This mixture should resemble a thick paste like texture. Add any extra cornflour, or a few drops of milk to achieve the ‘pasty’ consistency.
4. Coat the scored squid pieces completely in the cornflour paste, then dust in the potato starch. Set aside ready to fry.
5. Deep fry the squid in oil at 190° – 200°c for 6 – 8 minutes, until crispy. Drain on kitchen towel; serve immediately with a sweet chilli sauce, or tartare sauce.