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Chinese Recipes: Salt and Pepper squid

A plate of salt and pepper squid with half a lime



Salt and pepper squid is loved all over Asia, not just China with many different varieties. It can be served as a starter or with a salad as a light lunch.



  • 500 gr squid hoods (they can be bought fresh or frozen), ask the fish monger to clean if fresh
  • 100 gr cornflour (you can use plain flour, but cornflour is better)
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon regular black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons rock salt
  • groundnut, sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
  • half lemon or lime to serve


Cut the squid in half, so it opens up and score the inside of each piece. Cut into strips (perhaps wider than the picture shown above!)
In a pestle and mortar, grind the salt and peppercorns together. In a plastic bag, add this salt and pepper mix and the flour.
In a large frypan or wok, add a good amount of oil, so that it’s about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. Turn the heat on high and allow the oil to get very hot.
Add the squid pieces to the plastic bag and flour mix. Hold the bag tightly closed and shake around gently, so the squid will be covered well with this flour mix. Take the squid out of the plastic bag and shake off the excess flour.
Once the oil is very hot, deep fry the squid in batches until each piece is tender and lightly browned all over.
Once cooked, drain the salt and pepper squid on absorbent paper and then serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a salad.

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