Fried squid with garlic & parsley

Fried squid with garlic & parsley

Andrew Montgomery

This is such a classic way to prepare and cook squid. It’s also, quite possibly, one of the most delicious ways to eat it – which is why I had to get it in here somehow. I find small-to-medium sized squid work best, as really big ones can be a little tough (but, hey, it’s good to know what you’re eating sometimes). I worked with a chef who used to stuff the bodies of fresh squid with scrunched-up foil, then steam them until butter-tender. Once he’d chilled them, he would cut them into rings and fry them in the traditional way. His technique offered consistency for sure, but all the squid’s fantastic flavourful character and textural appeal had been steamed right out of them. I prefer to keep it much more real.


Quantity Ingredient
50g cornflour
50g plain flour
500g whole squid, cleaned, body cut into 1cm rings, tentacles left whole
500ml sunflower oil, for deep frying
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 garlic clove, peeled and grated
freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Combine the cornflour and plain flour in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the oil into a wok or large saucepan so that it comes halfway up the sides of pan, then place the pan over a medium–high heat. If you’re using a thermometer, heat the oil to 180°C. If not, you can check the oil is at the right temperature by dropping in a small cube of bread – after 1 minute, it should turn golden and crisp.
  3. Take a handful of squid rings and tentacles and turn them through the flour to coat thoroughly. Then, place them in a sieve and shake off the excess flour so that it falls back into the bowl.
  4. When all the squid pieces are coated, gently add them a handful at a time to the hot oil. Fry for 3–4 minutes, until they’re golden and crisp, then lift them out with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper. Allow the oil in the pan to heat back up again and repeat with the remaining squid, until all the rings and tentacles are cooked.
  5. Combine the olive oil with the chopped parsley and garlic and mix well.
  6. Heap the squid into a large bowl, or divide it between several smaller plates. Spoon over the parsley-and-garlic dressing and serve sprinkled with salt, and with some fresh lemon wedges for squeezing, if you like.
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