This is one of my favourite ways of preparing, and eating, squid. As with all simple recipes, particularly with seafood, it requires the freshest, best quality squid. Frozen stuff from the supermarket will not pass muster!
Although a simple dish I believe the preparation of ingredients is very important, please take the time to very finely dice, it really makes the difference!
800 g small whole squid
50 g cornflour
groundnut oil for frying
2 tablespoons very finely sliced coriander stalks and leaves
3 tablespoons very finely sliced spring onions
1 1/2 tablespoons very finely diced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons very finely diced red chillies, de-seeded
1 1/2 tablespoon very finely diced garlic
a good pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sichuan pepper - freshly ground and mixed with 2 teaspoons sea salt
3 iceberg lettuce leaves, very finely sliced
Ideally get your fishmonger to clean your squid for you, however if you have do it yourself, do as follows: Gently pull the head and tentacles away from the body and cut the tentacles from the head, just below the eyes. Discard the head. Pull out the quill from inside the body and discard the entrails. Remove the side wings and fine membrane from the body. Now rinse the body, tentacles and wings thoroughly and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Cut the squid down the centre so that it opens flat. Slice the body and wings into strips no more than 5mm wide. Set aside.
Prepare each of the remaining ingredients, ready for cooking and serving.
In a bowl, combine the squid including tentacles, with cornflour and toss to coat, shaking of any excess.
Pour sufficient oil into the wok for deep frying, and place on the heat until the oil seems to shimmer slightly (watch carefully). Add half of the floured squid and deep-fry for 1 minute, until just tender and starting to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Repeat the process with the remaining squid.
Pour off the oil from the wok and refresh with 1 tablesppon of clean oil. Heat until almost smoking and add the coriander, spring onions, ginger, chilli and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Return the squid to the wok and season with a pinch of sea salt and the sea salt/sichuan pepper mix. Stir fry for another 30 seconds.
To serve, place the finely shredded lettuce in a bowl with a wedge of lime on the side. Sprinkle a little extra sea salt/sichuan pepper mix on top and serve immediately.
Delicious with an ice cold beer!