Squid also known as calamari, is an excellent appetizer which can be enjoyed in any season. It is one of the most refreshing dishes that is best paired with a glass of cold crisp lager while watching your favorite sport with your friends, or whenever you are in the mood to enjoy a refreshing pint of beer! The crunch and the heat makes it a perfect accompaniment with beer. This particular recipe was adapted from the salt and pepper squid recipe by Gordon Ramsay as seen on his TV Show “The F word” .
For the Squid
- 1 lb of squid
- 1 tablespoon white peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- A pinch of Togarashi
- Sea salt to season
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
For the Cucumber Salad
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 medium sized carrot
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 Sprigs of Cilantro to garnish
1. Roast white and black peppercorns in a pan. Add the roasted peppercorns to a mortar and pestle and coarsely grind them. Season the flour with the pepper mixture, sea salt , togarashi and set it aside. Togarashi is a Japanese chilli pepper blend, if unavailable it can be replaced by cayenne pepper though it isn’t exactly a like for like replacement. However , it doesn’t drastically change the taste of your final as the heat from the peppercorns is the most dominant flavor.
2. Clean and score the squid and then dredge them in the seasoned flour. Heat oil in a cast iron pan and fry them till they are golden brown. Instructions on cleaning and scoring a squid can be found in the following video. It is very important to score the squid to ensure it doesn’t become rubbery.
After you have taken the squid out of the oil let it sit on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil sticking to it’s surface.
3. Peel the cucumber and the carrot using a peeler to make ribbon like strips as shown in the picture. Alternatively regular slices along the length can also be made. Add the rice wine vinegar, salt,sugar , sesame seed oil and toss. Garnish with cilantro.
4. Plate by placing the cucumber salad with the fried squid on top as shown in the picture. Garnish with lemon and serve with a chilled lager beer!