Crispy squid, marinated tomato salad and lemon and chilli mayonnaise

Crispy squid, marinated tomato salad and lemon and chilli mayonnaise

British Seafood
David Loftus

This simple recipe can be prepared quickly and is one of the nicest ways of eating squid. I like to serve it as a big family-style dish for all to share. It is adaptable too – change the salad or flavour the mayonnaise differently if you like. The most important thing is to make sure the squid is really crispy.


Quantity Ingredient
4 squid, cleaned and cut into rings, tentacles reserved, (see note)
100g plain flour, to dust
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
oil, for deep-frying
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Marinated tomato salad

Quantity Ingredient
4 plum tomatoes
2 beef tomatoes
12 cherry tomatoes
2 shallots, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
olive oil, to drizzle

Lemon and chilli mayonnaise

Quantity Ingredient
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon english mustard
1 red dutch chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
2 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
200ml light olive oil

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
lemon wedges


  1. First prepare the marinated tomato salad. Slice the plum and beef tomatoes and halve the cherry tomatoes. Place them all in a large bowl. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and oregano and season the tomatoes well with salt and pepper. Drizzle over some olive oil and mix together with your hands. Lay the tomatoes out neatly on a large serving plate or platter and leave to marinate for 1 hour before serving.
  2. To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks, mustard, chilli and lemon zest and juice in a food processor and blend together for 30 seconds. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until you have a nice, thick mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped parsley and blend again for 30 seconds. Transfer the mayonnaise to a tub and refrigerate until you want to serve it.
  3. When ready to serve, put the flour into a large bowl with the smoked paprika, cumin and a pinch of salt, and mix together well. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or other suitable deep, heavy pan to 180°C. When the oil is hot, cook the squid in batches. Pass through the seasoned flour, pat off any excess, then carefully add to the oil. Fry the squid for 1–2 minutes until crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the rest.
  4. Serve immediately, with the tomato salad, mayonnaise and lemon wedges.

Preparing squid

  • Make sure your squid is clean and white, with no pink tinges. Holding the body in one hand, grab the head and pull it firmly and carefully – the innards that are attached to it will come away with it. If the squid hasn’t released its ink already, you’ll find the ink sac within the innards.

    Pull the fins or ‘wings’ away from the sides of the body. Now remove the purplish skin covering the body. Carefully scrape the body and fins with your knife to remove any ink or excess skin and give the fins a quick rinse.

    Returning to the head, take hold of the tentacles and squeeze the head to remove the sharp beak, pulling it out. Using a sharp knife, cut the tentacles away from the head, just under the eyes. Rinse the tentacles.

    Finally, pull out the plastic-looking quill from the body and any other insides that look as though they shouldn’t be there. Give the body a quick rinse. At this point you can cut the squid body open or slice it into rings. The fins can also be cut into smaller pieces. Cook the body, fins and tentacles as required.
British Seafood
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