Salt and Pepper Squid

Salt and Pepper Squid is one of my favorite dishes to order in the chinese restaurants.
There are various ways to do this, and some even require five spice powder, but you actually only need FIVE ingredients to complete a simple and yummy version of this dish.

If you are using smaller, local squid, make sure to watch out for cooking time of the squid. The sizes of the squid are usually different so for smaller/baby squid, cooking time should be a half a minute shorter. You also have the option to remove the purple outer covering, but this isn’t necessary.

Salt and Pepper Squid

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves 4


  • 500 grams of squid, that had been cleaned and cut into rings or 2 inch pieces.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • At least 6 cloves of garlic, chopped (I used one bulb because fried garlic bits are the best)
  • 2-3 chopped birds eye chili or long finger chili or both.
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
  • Optional:
    • A dash or two of five spice powder
    • If you feel that your squid is a bit too fishy (altho it shouldn’t be if your squid is fresh), add the juice of half a lemon, or 4 pieces of calamansi, or 1/4 cup rice wine
    • Some variations include minced bell peppers, which adds a nice dynamic to the dish as well.


1.  Marinate the squid with egg, salt and pepper for 10 minutes. If you feel that your squid is too fishy, squeeze some lemon or calamansi on it, or add 1/4 cup rice wine to the marinade.

2. Dredge the squid pieces with cornstarch.

3. Deep fry the squid in hot cooking oil for about 3-4 minutes (test by putting a chopstick or skewer in, and if you see bubbles, oil is ready), or until light golden brown and the edges start to curl up slightly.

4. Place in a rack or paper towels once cooked.

5. In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the garlic and chili. If you’re also using bell peppers, add this in as well.

6. Toss in the fried squid and saute for 3 more minutes and taste to adjust the seasoning. Add a dash or two five spice if you want, but be careful not to put too much because a little goes a very long way. If this is not available to you, it’s all right! I actually did not put any on mine.


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