This Vietnamese dish from Luke Nguyen is perfect served as a starter. A blend of ground ginger, white pepper, Chinese five-spice and fresh chilli makes these crispy pieces of squid seriously moreish.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (253 votes)


  • 200 g squid tubes, cleaned 
  • 1 egg white, whisked 
  • 150 g (1 cup) potato starch 
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, thinly sliced 
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry 

Salt and pepper seasoning

  • 1 tbsp salt 
  • 1 tsp white pepper 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp white sugar 
  • ½ tsp Chinese five-spice 

Salt, pepper and lemon dipping sauce (muoi tieu chanh)

  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp white pepper 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink match 2005 Pirie Estate Riesling, Tamar Valley, Tasmania, or Asahi beer, Japan

To make salt and pepper seasoning, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

To make salt, pepper and lemon dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Lay squid tubes on a chopping board. Working from the top of the tubes down to the bottom, run a knife to open them up. Score squid with a crisscross pattern, cut in half lengthwise, then slice widthwise into 5 mm pieces. Place in a bowl.

Fill a wok or large, deep frying pan one-third full with oil and heat over high heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds).

Meanwhile, add egg white to squid. Using your hands, work egg white into the squid. Gradually add the potato starch, a little at a time, until squid is well coated and feels quite dry. Shake off the excess flour, then, working quickly with a few pieces at a time, add squid to hot oil. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard any bits of batter that rise to the surface. Cook for 3 minutes or until light golden and batter feels firm when tapped with a wooden spoon. Using a slotted spoon, remove squid and transfer to a colander to drain.

Drain oil from wok, leaving 1 tbsp, and place over medium–high heat. Add onion, chilli and garlic, toss to combine, then add squid. Cook for 1 minute, sprinkling squid with the seasoning as you cook.

Serve immediately with dipping sauce.



Photography by Alan Benson.

As seen in Feast magazine, Sept 2011, Issue 1.