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.
- 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
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.