Deep-Fried Squid With Salt and Pepper Mix

Deep fried calamari on skewers on market stall

David Sommers / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
220 Calories
5g Fat
15g Carbs
26g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 220
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 387mg 129%
Sodium 2641mg 115%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 26g
Calcium 93mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The squid is coated in an easy to make tempura batter and deep-fried, before being dipped in a spicy salt and pepper mix. This sauce includes the all-important Szechuan peppercorns for the spicy and numbing sensation that Szechuan cooking is known for.


  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorn (freshly ground, to taste)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup water (ice cold)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 cups oil
  • 2 pounds squid (cleaned)
  • Optional: Coriander leaves (garnish)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a heavy skillet on medium to medium-low heat, brown the 2 tablespoons of salt and 3 to 4 teaspoons of Szechuan peppercorns, shaking the pan occasionally, until the peppercorns are fragrant and the salt turns a light brown color.

  3. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.

  4. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the cooled mixture or grind in a blender. Set aside.

  5. In a small bowl, stir the egg into the 3/4 cup of ice water.

  6. Stir in 1 cup of flour to form a thick, lumpy batter, being careful not to overmix (the batter should resemble a pancake batter).

  7. Heat the oil to 360 F in a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat.

  8. Dip the squid into the tempura batter, using your fingers to coat the squid pieces.

  9. Add the squid and deep-fry until golden brown and crispy. Drain.

  10. Serve garnished with the coriander leaves, and with the salt and pepper mix for dipping.

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