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Deep-fried Squid with Spicy Salt and Pepper

This recipe is one of the specialities of the Cantonese school of cuisine. Southern China is famous for its seafood, often flavoured with ginger.

ingredients

serves 4
450 g (1 lb) squid
5 ml (1 tsp) ginger juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
about 575 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups boiling water
vegetable oil, for deep frying
spicy salt and pepper
fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

method

1. Clean the squid by discarding the head and the transparent backbone as well as the ink bag; peel off and discard the thin skin, then wash the squid and dry well on kitchen paper. Open up the squid and, using a sharp knife, score the inside of the flesh in a criss-cross pattern.

2. Cut the squid into pieces, each about the size of a postage stamp. Marinate in a bowl with the ginger juice and rice wine or sherry for 25 - 30 minutes.

3. Blanch the squid in boiling water for a few seconds — each piece will curl up and the criss-cross pattern will open out to resemble ears of corn. Remove and drain. Dry well.

4. Heat sufficient oil for deep frying in a wok. Deep fry the squid for 15 - 20 seconds only, remove quickly and drain. Sprinkle with the spicy salt and pepper and serve garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

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