Salt-and-pepper squid

Salt-and-pepper squid

By
From
Vietnamese Street Food
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

This classic is a favourite all along Vietnam’s coastline. The only regional variations concern the amount of chillies: diners in the south prefer their squid with a little more heat than in the north.

Instead of frying, you can rub the chilli mix straight onto the raw squid and chargrill it on a barbecue.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 squid
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 red asian shallots, roughly chopped
1/2 cup rice flour or cornflour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
oil, for frying
Lime, salt and chilli, to serve

Method

  1. Clean the squid by holding the body with one hand and the head with the other. Gently pull, taking care not to burst the ink sac, and the head and tentacles will come away. Remove the cartilage and rinse the squid inside and out, then pat dry. Cut off and discard the head. Cut the body open and pull away the outside membrane. Rinse again and pat dry. Lay the squid on a board with the inside of the squid facing up. Score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, then cut the body and tentacles into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place the chilli, garlic and shallots in a mortar and use a pestle to grind to a fine paste. Set aside until needed.
  3. Season the flour with the salt and pepper. Ensure the squid pieces are dry, then dust in the flour and shake off the excess.
  4. Heat a little oil in a wok. Fry the squid for 1–2 minutes, or until the squid is light golden and cooked through. Drain well on paper towel.
  5. Discard the oil and reheat the wok. Fry the chilli paste until fragrant, then add the squid pieces and toss until evenly coated.
  6. Serve the squid with the lime, salt and chilli.
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