Salt and Pepper Fried Squid
An additive Chinese style salt and pepper fried squid. If you, like me, are a fan of the crispy seafood appetizer known as calamari that can be found on many seafood and Italian restaurant menus, you just might find yourself in love with this Salt and Pepper Squid that is usually found on the menu at Chinese restaurants. Its crispy, its tender, its perfectly seasoned and after a few tries I finally realized its not that hard to make at home.
1 1/2 pounds raw squid rings (can also cut whole squid tube into rings)
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
5 cups, plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/3 cup plain cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, plus more to taste
2 long hot green peppers, cut lengthwise and sliced thinly
2 small red hot peppers, cut lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 small bunch green onion
1 red onion, sliced thinly
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
Step 1: Cut the squid rings into half.
Marinate the squid in the shaoxing wine and sesame oil. Toss gently and set aside.
In a medium deep pot, add enough oil so that the level of oil reaches 4 inches up the side of the pot. Heat the oil until the temperature reaches 325 degrees.
While you’re waiting for the oil to heat, prepare your dry mixture. Combine the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, cornmeal, salt, and white pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
When the oil reaches temperature, you’re ready to start dredging your squid. Work in batches of small fistfuls of calamari. Gently squeeze off any liquid and dredge the squid in the dry mixture.
Step 2: Using a long-handled sieve or slotted spoon, lower the squid into the hot oil. Gently move the squid pieces back and forth. Let them fry until golden brown, about 2-2 1/2 minutes. Remove all the calamari and let drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Step 3: Slice red and green hot pepper. Slice red onion and green onion. Pour most of the oil out of the wok for frying squid. Heat the same wok over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the ginger and let it fry in the oil. After about 20 seconds, add the garlic and green onion. Stir the garlic around the wok quickly in order to prevent burning. When the garlic gets lightly golden in color, add the green and red peppers and red onion. Continue to stir fry for another 30 seconds.
Step 4: Add the squid to the wok and stir fry quickly in the aromatic mixture for about a minute or so. Plate and serve your salt and pepper squid immediately. It is great with a cold beer.