Fried squid with Asian pesto

Forget calamari, try this fried squid with Asian pesto dish from Neil Haydock
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Chilli squid

Neil Haydock, executive chef at Zacry’s at Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall, reinvents classic calamari with this Asian inspired squid recipe

www.watergatebay.co.uk

Serves    2

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  • You will need
  • Method

For the Asian pesto:

  • Blanched unsalted peanuts 100g
  • Coriander 50g
  • Flat leaf parsley 50g
  • Mint 50g
  • Garlic clove 1, finely chopped
  • Ginger 1 thumb size piece, finely chopped
  • Peanut oil
  • Lime 1
  • Fish sauce
  • Palm sugar to taste
  • Red chilli 1, deseeded and finely diced

For the squid:

  • Oil 2l
  • Custard powder 100g
  • Chilli powder 5g
  • Star anise powder a pinch
  • Dried thyme a pinch
  • Sea salt a pinch
  • Fresh squid 1 kg, cleaned
  1. For the pesto: roast the peanuts in a hot oven until golden and allow to cool.
  2. Place the nuts, herbs, garlic and ginger into a blender and blitz to a paste. Add the oil until a pesto-like consistency, then season with lime, fish sauce and palm sugar to taste. Mix in the diced chilli.
  3. For the squid: heat the oil to 180°C in a fryer or large pan.
  4. Combine the custard powder, spices, thyme and salt. Open up the squid tubes and lightly score the inside with a knife and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Toss the tentacles in the spice mix and shake off any excess.
  6. Fry for around thirty seconds and place onto a tray containing kitchen paper to drain any excess oil. Repeat the process with the squid tubes.
  7. Place the pesto onto the plates and top with the squid. Serve immediately.

You will need

For the Asian pesto:

  • Blanched unsalted peanuts 100g
  • Coriander 50g
  • Flat leaf parsley 50g
  • Mint 50g
  • Garlic clove 1, finely chopped
  • Ginger 1 thumb size piece, finely chopped
  • Peanut oil
  • Lime 1
  • Fish sauce
  • Palm sugar to taste
  • Red chilli 1, deseeded and finely diced

For the squid:

  • Oil 2l
  • Custard powder 100g
  • Chilli powder 5g
  • Star anise powder a pinch
  • Dried thyme a pinch
  • Sea salt a pinch
  • Fresh squid 1 kg, cleaned

Method

  1. For the pesto: roast the peanuts in a hot oven until golden and allow to cool.
  2. Place the nuts, herbs, garlic and ginger into a blender and blitz to a paste. Add the oil until a pesto-like consistency, then season with lime, fish sauce and palm sugar to taste. Mix in the diced chilli.
  3. For the squid: heat the oil to 180°C in a fryer or large pan.
  4. Combine the custard powder, spices, thyme and salt. Open up the squid tubes and lightly score the inside with a knife and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Toss the tentacles in the spice mix and shake off any excess.
  6. Fry for around thirty seconds and place onto a tray containing kitchen paper to drain any excess oil. Repeat the process with the squid tubes.
  7. Place the pesto onto the plates and top with the squid. Serve immediately.
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Indy Coffee Box

'We use custard powder to give the squid a light crust that cooks in the short time needed to cook squid perfectly. The golden colour comes from the milk powder in the custard,' says Neil

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