Tempura Chilli Squid

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Eat the Week: Every meal, every dayI don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t cave at tempura squid, and this punchy dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment. I could eat endless amounts of it. If you find you feel the same way, I’d double my already generous recipe, just to make sure you’re not left short.

  • Yield: 4
  • Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 Minutes


  • Sunflower oil for deep-frying
  • 1 lb 5 oz (600 g) squid, scored and cut into 5–6 strips, including tentacles
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • 4¼ oz (120 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 4¼ oz (120 g) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 5 egg whites
  • 10½ fl oz (300 ml) cold sparkling water
  • small sprinkle of finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
Dipping sauce
  • generous glug of sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • small pinch of finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped pickled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar or caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ spring onion (scallion), finely chopped
How to Make It
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the batter ingredients until smooth, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small serving bowl. Taste it to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved and that you’ve got the sweet versus tangy balance just right.
  3. Pour the sunflower oil into a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan and heat to 190°C (375°F) or until a drop of the batter added to the oil sizzles and floats to the top straightaway.
  4. Working in small batches, dip the squid strips into the batter and deep-fry for 1–2 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel, then serve with lemon wedges and the dipping sauce.

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