This is a deliciously light way to enjoy squid. Instead of coating and deep-frying it (as is so often the way) this recipe calls for a very simple and healthy alternative. By quickly stir-frying the squid, you have a much fresher, healthier dish. It’s also much lower in carbs too, so that’s always a bonus.
The flavours marry together perfectly. The squid is cooked with Sichuan pepper which is such a wonderful ingredient! It adds a citrussy flavour that goes beautifully in all kinds of dishes (try it on grilled lamb chops or roasted aubergines!). It’s fired up with chilli and served alongside the most delicious little cucumber salad. Soy and sesame are always best buddies and they’re a really simple way of pimping up the humble cucumber, turning it into something seriously tasty. It’s a light little dish that’s ideal as a starter, but with a side or two could be a delicious main.
Full credit to Rick Stein and his excellent book ‘Fish & Shellfish’ for this recipe, definitely pick up a copy. Cheers Rick, it’s a winner!
Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as part of a main course.
Ingredients Spicy Squid 600g squid, sliced into strips (1) 1/2 tsp Sichuan pepper, lightly toasted in dry pan. 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, lightly toasted in dry pan. 1 tsp sea salt flakes 2 tbsp sunflower oil 1 green chilli (fairly hot), finely sliced 3 spring onions, sliced Cucumber Salad 1/4 cucumber, sliced finely 25g watercress 2 tsp dark soy sauce 2 tsp sesame oil
- Add the soy and sesame oil in a jam jar and shake vigorously until combined, then use to dress the cucumber and watercress.
- In a pestle and mortar, grind together the peppercorns and salt (2).
- Heat a large pan/wok over a high heat. Add half the sunflower oil and, once smoking, add half the squid. Stir-fry for 2 minutes and remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and squid. After 2 minutes, add the reserved squid and 1 tsp or pepper/salt mixture. Stir together then finish with chilli and spring onions. Serve alongside the salad.
- Open out the squid tubes so you have flat pieces. Using a table knife, gently score the surface of the squid in straight lines every 5mm (Be careful not to cut through the squid!). Turn 90 degrees and repeat so you have a criss-cross pattern. This increases the surface area and gives lots of little nooks for the pepper to cling to. Now, slice the squid into strips about an inch wide.
- Keep the leftover pepper mixture in an air-tight container and use to sprinkle over grilled meat, delicious!