Crunchy salt and pepper squid tastes fabulous dipped into spicy chilli jam.
- 4 (about 1kg) squid hoods, cleaned
- Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 1 eggwhite
- 1/2 cup (90g) rice flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 cup (225g) white sugar
- 4 long fresh red chillies, halved, seeded (if desired), thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (60ml) white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- To make the chilli jam, combine tomato and sugar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 6 hours or overnight. Transfer to a saucepan. Add chilli, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, salt and fish sauce and place over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until jam thickens. Remove from heat and cool.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the squid hoods into 4cm square pieces. Use a knife to gently score. Place on a plate lined with paper towel. Place enough oil in a large frying pan to reach a depth of 10cm and place over high heat to reach a temperature of 180°C (to test, a cube of bread will turn brown in 15 seconds).
- Lightly whisk the eggwhite in a bowl. Combine rice flour with half the salt, white pepper, five spice and Sichuan pepper on a plate. Combine remaining salt, peppers and fi ve spice in a bowl and set aside.
- Dip one quarter of the squid in the eggwhite, then lightly toss in the flour mixture. Deep-fry squid for 1-2 minutes or until lightly golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer squid to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining squid, eggwhite and flour mixture. Sprinkle squid with reserved salt mixture. Place on a serving dish and serve immediately with chilli jam.