Cooking squid couldn't be simpler. Salt
and pepper are used to season, and that's it. A great Chinese tradition
for all sorts of fish and shellfish, this is a Vietnamese favorite too.
Ideal snack and finger food, the tender squid can be served on its own,
with noodles or - as it is in the streets of Saigon - with baguette and
chilies. Those who like chili can replace the black pepper with chopped
dried chili or chili powder. Butter-fried shrimps with the shells removed,
are also delicious cooked in this way.
Baby or medium squid
Ground black pepper
Rice flour or cornflour
Vegetable or sesame oil, for frying (add
more if required)
Prepare the squid by pulling the head away
from the body.
Sever the tentacles from the rest and trim
Reach inside the body sac and pull out the
backbone, then clean the squid inside and out, removing any skin. Rinse
well with cold water.
Using a sharp knife, slice the squid into
rings and pat them dry.
Put them on a dish with the tentacles.
Combine the salt and pepper with the rice flour or cornflour, tip it on
to the squid and toss well, making sure its evenly coated.
Heat the oil in a wok for deep frying.
Cook the squid in batches, until the rings turn crisp and golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve with lime
to squeeze over.