Crispy Squid with Garlic Mayonnaise {from Nigella Express}

To be honest, there’s nothing really special about squid on its own (sorry squid lovers, it’s true!). As you all will agree that squid itself is pretty tasteless. The texture will get worse if you add time and pressure when cooking it too! It became chewy and  rubbery… seriously make your jaw muscle developed (a definite no no to the shape of my face!).

Despite my minor whinge about the squid above, I still love’em (speaking about true love eh? lol). I love barbecue squid after they are marinated with garlic, lemon and salt. I love when they are curried or cooked in my favourite sambal sauce. I love when they stuffed with meat fillings and then cooked in soup (okay, it’s sounds unusual but trust me, it’s a lovely dish). Among the various ways you can turn squid into delicious dishes, my absolute favourite is when they are deep fried, prefereably lightly battered. You gotta admit that anything deep fried is a crowd pleaser. However I don’t know how I feel about deep fried bubble gum though.

Apart from being really crunchy and as addictive as popcorns (how wish I wish they served crispy squid in the movies :P), it’s not difficult to make it at home (if you use the recipe below and you can get over the fact you need more oil than you used to).  Honestly, its crispy exterior makes you forget how tasteless the innard used to be. It also helps to have dipping sauce such as aioli to go with them.

Everywhere I go, may it be a Chinese or Western restaurants, crispy squid (or under other monikers such as salt and pepper squid, crumbed calamari  etc.) always stands out to me. Somehow there’s a pulling power of crispy squid that made me  salivate by the sound of it.  Do you have the same “weakness” too?

Crispy Squid with Garlic Mayonnaise

(based on Nigella Express – changed a little based on what I have)

Crispy Squid Ingredients:-

  • 2 squid tubes (weighed about 310g / 11 oz)
  • 1.5 tbsps cornflour
  • 3 tbsps semolina
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust according to your preference)
  • Cooking oil for frying

Garlic Mayonnaise

  • 4 tbsps whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, grated

Emily’s Note – If you’ve watched the episode where Ms Lawson made this, it looked like she used small squid including the tubes and tentacles. I think those baby squid are the best (especially the tentacles, my absolute love!) but they are not widely available where I live. Therefore I’m settling for the large squid tubes from the supermarket.


  • Make the garlic mayo first – add mayo into a small bowl and grate a garlic. Then mix the garlic and mayo together with a fork. Set aside in the fridge.
  • If you are using the baby squid, you can skip the trouble of slicing the squid etc. You can go straight to breading the squid. If you will be using squid tubes like myself, here is what I did:-

(1) Slide a sharp knife along one side of the squid to open the tube.

(2) Lay the squid tube flat and score it diagonally (twice in apposite direction) to form diamond shaped cuts.

(3) Then slice the scored squid into small pieces.  Repeat steps (1) to (3) with the other squid tube.

  • Place all the squid into a large zip lock bag. Then add cornflour, semolina, cayenne powder, black pepper and salt into the squid.

  •  Seal the zip lock bag and combine all the ingredients with a “massage” motion until well combine. Set aside.

  • Fill cooking oil up to  1/3 level of the pot. (You can use any size pot you want but since the quantity is not significant, I used a small pot as I feel it doesn’t require as much oil as say, a bigger size pot would be. My “small” pot here is 7 inches/ 17 cm in diamater, which can contain up 5 cups of water – so 1/3 level of my small pot  requires about 1 and 1/3 cup of oil. I have to fry these squid pieces in two batches).
  • Heat the oil over medium flame. To test when the oil is ready for frying, I dropped one lump of the squid coating into the oil. If it sizzles rapidly, you can add the squid for frying, in two batches. Fry until the crust is golden and crunchy when you tap on the squid using a tong. When the squid is in the oil frying, use a tong to separate them gently. It shouldn’t be difficult to separate them if the oil is hot enough. Place the fried squid on a kitchen towel lined plate. Serve immediately with the garlic mayo and some lemon wedges. (Remove the kitchen towel before serving – I didn’t bother in doing so as it’s only for myself and my beloved. :P)

{up close}

p/s: Apologies for the lack of post for the past week, I’ve been feeling a little exhausted from work and that kinda dampens my motivation for any kind of cooking (even though it’s fuss free). I think my laziness is more powerful than I thought hehe! I’m hoping to be back in full swing this week. 🙂






Meat Recipes, Seafood. permalink.

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