Salt and pepper squid with handmade wedges

Photographer: Emma
4 as an entree, 2 as a main

Salt and pepper squid is a dish found on most kiwi eating establishment menus and one that has time, and time again disappointed me.  Squid should be only “just” cooked but only too often it’s like chewing on a rubber band.  The short cooking time is my only point for this recipe; it’s splendidly easy and by-jeeze, it tastes good. 


Salt and pepper squid
5-10 dried red chillies (depending on how much heat you want)
3 tbsp salt
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
3 squid tubes
500ml canola, salad or cooking oil
200g rice flour
Lemon wedges to serve

Potato wedges
4 medium sized floury potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Sweet chilli sauce to serve


Salt and pepper squid
1. In a frying pan, over a light-moderate heat, cook the salt, pepper and chilli.
2. Take off the heat, place in a mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder.
3. Cut the squid into tubes (approx 1cm thick) and pat dry with paper towels.
4. Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan.
5. Toss the squid in the rice flour and then drop into the hot oil (drop in with tongs to avoid burning yourself). Do this in batches – I cooked approximately 5 squid rings per batch.
6. Take the squid out of the oil using a wire basket or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
7. Serve with potato wedges and sweet chilli sauce.

Potato wedges
1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
2. Boil potatoes for approximately 10 minutes (they should still be reasonably firm).
3. Drain and the leave them out to cool (i.e. don’t submerge them in water to cool).
4. Cut into wedges, place on a baking tray (or baking dish), drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle over salt and black pepper.
5. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes or until crispy and golden on the outside and soft on the inside.