Salt and pepper squid

John Torodes easy salt and pepper squid is an easy starter recipe served with a chilli and lime dressing and fresh coriander
By John Torode
Salt and pepper squid
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 as a starter, 12-14 as a canape
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the dipping sauce:

  • a handful of roasted and dried chillies
  • 50 g palm sugar
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

For the squid:

  • 1-2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 2 large fresh squid tubes
  • 1 litres vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, left in their paper skins
  • handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped


1. For the dipping sauce: Roast the chillis in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes. Discard the seeds, then put the chilli into a pestle and mortar, add the palm sugar and bash into a paste. Add the lime juice and fish sauce then mix it all together.

2. For the squid: In a pestle and mortar grind together the white peppercorns and sea salt until finely ground, add this to the flour and spread over a plate.

3. Prepare the squid by cutting down the middle of each one and open them up to create a large, flat piece of squid. Remove the membrane and discard, then using a sharp knife, score the inside of the squid on an angle to create a fine crisscross pattern in the flesh. Slice the squid into 5-6cm squares. Drop the squid into the flour mixture, toss and coat and leave for a few minutes so it is evenly covered.

4. Carefully heat the vegetable oil in deep pan until very hot, you can test that it is ready by adding a small piece of bread to the oil, if it fizzles and turns brown in 10-15 seconds, it is ready. Bash the garlic cloves with the back of a knife and keep the skin on, drop these into your hot vegetable oil and deep fry for 10 seconds until golden. Place into a bowl and mix together with the coriander.

5. Put each piece of squid in the hot oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it is crispy and golden, remove using a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered with kitchen roll.

6. Once cooked, add the garlic and coriander to the squid and mix together. Serve in a bowl with the dipping sauce in a small bowl to the side.

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