There is a very good reason that salt and pepper are always together, they are two very simple ingredients that can make a dish go from good to great.
But of course when you add a third spice called szechwan you have your taste buds bopping up and down. The combination of three of these spices make up this salt and pepper squid mix.
I also use this mix to sprinkle over steak or a way to zush up a beer battered flat head or use prawns or calamari rings instead. Have a play. Enjoy!
Salt and Pepper Squid
Serves 4 as an entree
1kg cleaned squid, (open the squid hoods and score the inside (shiny side) with a criss-cross pattern using the tip of a sharp knife, careful not to cut right through. Cut the squid into bite-sized pieces)
1 cup tapioca flour (or cornflour or rice flour)
1 tablespoon rock salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon szechwan pepper
3 egg whites, lightly whisked
vegetable oil, for deep frying
lime wedges to serve
Dry roast spices salt and both peppers in a pan over a low heat until salt starts to turn golden and spices fragrant. Place into a mortar and pestle and cool. Once cool grind with the mortar and pestle to a fine consistency.
Place the flour and spice mixture in a large bowl. In batches, dip the squid into the egg whites and then into the flour mix and toss well to lightly coat.
Heat oil in a wok to 180 degrees Celsius and deep fry squid, in batches for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lime wedges.
Tip: Szechwan pepper is the dried berries from the prickly ash bush. It has a slight tangy heat to it and leaves a fizzy sensation on your tongue. You can buy swechuan pepper at any good delis or Asian supermarkets.