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Deep-fried Squid With Salt and Pepper Mix

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Squid is coated in an easy to make tempura batter and deep-fried, and then dipped in a spicy salt and pepper mix. Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons freshly ground Szechuan peppercorn, according to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 cups oil for deep-frying, or as needed
  • 2 lb cleaned squid
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish (optional)

Preparation:

In a heavy skillet on medium to medium-low heat, brown the salt and Szechuan peppercorns, shaking the pan occasionally, until the peppercorns are fragrant and the salt turns a light brown color. Remove from the heat. Cool. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the cooled mixture or grind in a blender. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir the egg into the ice water. Stir in the flour to form a thick, lumpy batter, being careful not to overmix (the batter should resemble a pancake batter).

Heat the oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Dip the squid into the tempura batter, using your fingers to coat the squid pieces. Add the squid and deep-fry until golden brown and crispy. Drain. Serve garnished with the coriander leaves, and with the salt and pepper mix for dipping.
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