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Stir-fried Salt and Pepper Squid with Red Chilli and Spring Onion

Tender pieces of squid with a crispy, spicy coating make Salt and Pepper Squid an enduringly popular dish. This foolproof salt and pepper squid recipe from seafood expert Rick Stein is a perfect dinner party starter, with impressive results for minimum effort.

From the book


My version of salt and pepper squid differs from most in that it is just stir-fried, not deep-fried in flour or batter. I think this is much nicer so long as the squid is very fresh.

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750g squid
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium-hot red chilli, thinly sliced on the diagonal (seeds removed, if you prefer)
3 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
For the salad:
1/4 cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded
50g beansprouts
25g watercress, large stalks removed
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp roasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp caster sugar
A pinch of salt


Prepare the squid as described in Rick's video guide below.


For the salad, cut the cucumber lengthways into short strips. Toss with the beansprouts and watercress and set aside in the fridge until needed. Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and salt.

Heat a small heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Add the black and Sichuan peppercorns and dry-roast for a few seconds, shaking the pan now and then, until they darken slightly and become aromatic.

Coarsely crush, then stir in the sea salt flakes.

Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking. Add half the oil and half the squid and stir-fry it for 2 minutes, until lightly coloured. Tip on to a plate, then repeat with the remaining oil and the rest of the squid. Return the first batch of squid to the wok and add 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper mixture (the rest can be used in other stir-fries).

Toss together for about 10 seconds, then add the red chilli and spring onions and toss together very briefly. Serve immediately, with the dressed salad alongside.

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From the book: Rick Stein’s Fish & Shellfish

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