• Squid ink cuttlefish (The Chefs' Line S2)Source: The Chefs' Line S2

This is restaurant Annam's take on a salt & pepper squid. After you've cleaned the cuttlefish, lightly score it to help the batter stick. And the secret to the batter? Cold soda water... The Chefs' Line






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  • 50 g Szechuan peppercorns
  • 100 g sea salt
  • 150 g cleaned cuttlefish
  • 100 g rice flour
  • 100 g glutinous rice flour
  • 100 g tapioca flour
  • 200 ml cold soda water
  • 1 tsp squid ink
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • Lemon cheek and thinly sliced red chilli, to serve

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.


This recipe serves 4 as a shared starter.

To make the prickly ash powder, toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan until smoky and dark (it will look dark and burnt but it’s not actually burnt). Then add sea salt and toast on high heat for another minute. Cool and blitz in a spice blender to a fine powder. Sieve through a fine sieve and discard any remaining large pieces.

Wipe the cuttlefish with a cloth to remove any remaining ink or membrane. Using a small sharp knife, score the flesh, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Combine the flours in a large bowl. Whisk in the soda water until a smooth batter forms, then stir in the squid ink.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in a large saucepan to 190˚C. Dredge the cuttlefish in the batter, allowing the excess to drain off, then slowly drop each piece in the oil, making sure it is well coated with the batter. Deep-fry for 3-5 minutes or until crisp, then drain on paper towel.

Sprinkle with the prickly ash powder, then serve garnished with the chilli and a lemon cheek.


This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood  and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!