A frying pan filled with fried squid, red chillies and topped with green spring onions, set against a pale blue background

Salt and pepper squid

  • serves 2 as a snack or starter
  • Easy

Celebrate squid in this punchy starter recipe. The mix of Sichuan and black peppercorns gives a tingly spiciness and kick of heat


Try this recipe for salt and pepper squid, then check out our squid risotto, calamari, squid stew and plenty more squid recipes.

When to eat squid

Squid has a fairly short season from the end of August to November, so when it is in season, this is a great simple Asian way of preparing it.



  • sichuan peppercorns 1 tsp
  • black peppercorns 1 tsp
  • sea salt flakes 1 tbsp
  • plain flour 30g
  • cornflour 30g
  • squid 400g, cleaned
  • vegetable oil 1 tbsp, plus extra for frying
  • spring onions 6, sliced
  • ginger thumb-sized piece, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • red chillies 3, sliced


  • Step 1

    Toast all the peppercorns in a deep frying pan or wok over a high heat for 30 seconds, then tip out and bash with a pestle and mortar along with the salt. Whisk together both the flours in a bowl, then mix in the peppercorn mixture.

  • Step 2

    Cut the squid tubes down one side and open out like a book. Lightly score the insides of the squid in a crisscross pattern using a sharp knife, without going all the way though, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the tentacles into similar-sized pieces.

  • Step 3

    Heat a 5cm depth of oil in a heavy-based pan or wok until 180C on a thermometer or a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Toss the squid in the flour mixture until completely coated. Shake off any excess and carefully lower into the hot oil – you’ll need to do this in batches. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper.

  • Step 4

    When all the squid is cooked, serve as is with lemon wedges for squeezing over, or heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok over a high heat until hot and stir-fry the spring onions, ginger and chillies for 30 seconds until lightly golden. Fold in all the squid and toss to combine. Tip into a serving bowl, sprinkle with a little more sea salt and serve.

Check out more easy squid recipes

Calamari Recipe For Squid Rings

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 380
  • Fat 19.3g
  • Saturates 1.9g
  • Carbs 18g
  • Sugars 1.4g
  • Fibre 1.4g
  • Protein 32.8g
  • Salt 5.5g