Crispy fried squid with harissa and crème fraîche

Neven Maguire combines fiery Moroccan chilli paste and French soured cream in a fragrant dip for Chinese-style squid
By Neven Maguire
Crispy fried squid with harissa and crème fraîche
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying, plus extra for stir-frying
  • 450 medium squid, cleaned
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp semolina
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 medium-hot red chilli, sliced at an angle
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 120 ml creme fraiche
  • 2 tsp harissa


1. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 190C. Cut the body pouch of each squid open along one side and score the inner side with the tip of a small, sharp knife into a fine diamond pattern. Cut each pouch lengthways in half, then across into 5cm pieces. Separate the tentacles into pairs.

2. Put the cornflour, semolina, sesame seeds, paprika and a teaspoon of salt into a plastic freezer bag. Add the squid and toss to coat. Tip out onto a tray, knocking off any excess flour and leave for 1-2 minutes so that the coating becomes slightly damp (this will give a crisper finish).

3. When the oil is hot enough (it will sizzle up fiercely when you drop in a small cube of bread), fry the squid in batches for 1-2 minutes until golden and crunchy.

4. Meanwhile, heat a little more oil in a wok or frying pan. Quickly sauté the chilli and spring onions for a couple of minutes until sizzling. Season to taste.

5. Mix together the crème fraîche and harissa in a small bowl and season to taste. Drain the squid on kitchen paper and tip onto a platter. Sprinkle over the chilli mixture and place the harissa and crème fraîche dip alongside to serve.

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