Spring and Summer scream for sunshine food and seafood. What better way to feed this appetite than with Isla Rechner’s crispy squid tossed in pink peppercorns and salt.
‘I always associate salt and pepper squid with warm Australian days on my trips there, even though its origins are solidly stemmed in Cantonese cuisine. Regardless of its etymology, it hit the spot washed down with a glass of refreshing Chenin Blanc.
Salt & pink peppercorn squid
250g, small squid tubes cleaned and cut into thick strips
2g baking powder
Pinch of salt
Pink peppercorn batter
35g plain flour
4g baking powder
5g pink peppercorns, crushed
150ml sparkling water
5g pink peppercorns crushed with 10g sea salt tossed together for squid topping
Pea shoot salad with lime vinaigrette
1/2 bag pea shoots
Zest and juice of 1 lime
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
45ml olive oil
Half an avocado finely sliced
Vegetable oil for frying
Mayonnaise and lime wedges to serve
• First start by making your batter. Place the flour, cornflour, baking powder and pink peppercorns in a medium-sized bowl, slowly whisk in the sparkling water and set aside for a few minutes
• Place enough oil in a wok to adequately fry the squid, about 500ml. Heat the oil to 180 degrees, ensuring to maintain the temperature
• Working in batches, dredge the squid portions into the seasoned flour, followed by dipping them in the batter and quickly placing them in the hot oil
• Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until puffed up and lightly golden. You want to ensure you don’t overcook the squid and them becoming akin to rubber bullets. Once you have fried it all, toss in the extra pink peppercorns and salt.
• Quickly make your vinaigrette by place the lime juice and zest, Dijon mustard, honey and olive oil together. Whisk until emulsified.
• Toss the pea shoots with the vinaigrette
• Place on a plate alongside the crispy squid and the sliced avocado.
• Enjoy it with an extra lime wedge and mayonnaise