Salt and pepper squid (serves 4-6)

Salt & pepper squid is one of my favourite dishes from our local Chinese takeaway. It costs £4.80 for a portion that serves two, which is actually quite reasonable for a seafood dish. But of course you have to order a minimum of £10 to get free delivery. Then there’s the fact you don’t really know what’s in it or who cooked it, and a lot of takeaways add MSG (monosodium glutamate – an artificial flavour enhancer) to their food. There’s a reason why a slap-up takeaway always results in a raging thirst and a weird hangover the next day. Don’t get me wrong. I blooming love a Chinese takeaway. When the urge hits, an MSG hangover is totally worth it once in a while.

But I digress. I saw Phil Vickery making this on This Morning a while ago. I’ve never bought squid before. Wouldn’t know where to begin. And there’s no way in hell you’ll see me handling a … shudder … ink sack. Blurgh. But Ocado happened to stock a pack of prepared squid. It looks like this:


Very clean. No gross bits. It cost £3.99 for 400g (enough for four people) and the rest of the ingredients are things you have in your store cupboard already. Even if you add some stir fry veg, rice or noodles, even a cheeky bag of prawn crackers, you’ll still be spending well under the tenner you’d have handed over to the delivery guy.

An added bonus is that this takeaway alternative genuinely tastes very similar to (or dare I say better than) the original. Give it a go! Let me know what you think.



400g prepared squid tubes
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
200g flour
200ml milk




Pat the squid dry with a cloth or kitchen paper, then slice it up into bitesize strips. I used kitchen scissors to cut it up. Very quick and easy, no mess.


Put a pan of oil on to heat up. You need it nice and hot and you’ll probably have to cook the squid in small batches. Meanwhile set up a little system. The squid takes only a minute or two to cook completely so you need to be organised and fast! You’re going to treat the squid in the following order: seasoning, flour, milk, flour again, into the hot oil, then onto some kitchen paper.

I set up a plate with the seasoning mix, a shallow bowl for the milk, another plate for the flour, then I had my hot pan ready to go, and a large dish lined with kitchen paper ready for the cooked squid.

Coating the squid prior to frying is a messy business. My top tip is to have a sink of soapy water standing ready. Your fingers will be caked in batter. This makes it tricky to turn on a tap to wash them while your squid is burning on the other side of the kitchen! Ok. Sorted? Ready? Away you go!


Just a minute or so and they’re done. Light, golden and crispy.


If I’d been more organised, I’d have done some veg but as it is, I served mine with plain rice and a dribble of sweet chilli sauce.

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6 thoughts on “Salt and pepper squid (serves 4-6)

  1. Maggie August 12, 2014 at 22:32 Reply

    Looks gorgeous Lucy. You are adventurous AND organised despite the lack of veg!

  2. Anais August 13, 2014 at 03:26 Reply

    Yum! I LOVE squids! You deffo know what you’re talking about, calamari are a tipical dish in Italy (I’m italian) and we do it in many way but my favourite is probably coated in flour and fried, either pan fried or deep fried. Make me so happy to see this recipe 🙂 idkw squids are not much popular in Uk, I always need to ask for them in advance to the fishmonger otherwise I won’t be able to find them.

    • The Pie Patch August 13, 2014 at 08:31 Reply

      I’m not sure. I think we’re getting better at it but the British do tend to be quite squeamish about preparing certain raw meat & fish. And squid is generally thought of as an expensive food. But battered & fried is always a safe option! We’re too used to seeing pre-butchered, pre-packed raw ingredients laid out in the supermarket. The same for our fruit & veg. It’s all carefully selected, uniform shape & clean. A lot of our traditional markets are gone now & that’s where you always found the knobbly, muddy produce & the fresh fish stall.

  3. pambracewell August 16, 2014 at 11:19 Reply

    We tried this last night, and all i can say is WOW! Exactly as you said, frankly i defy anyone to say they wouldnt pay good money for it in a take away.
    It will definately be put in my receipe folder, thanks so much, and keep them coming! xxxx

    • The Pie Patch August 16, 2014 at 11:24 Reply

      Oh, thanks so much for letting me know! Glad you enjoyed it. I reckon you could use the same batter for tempura style veggies or king prawns too.

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