Friday, 28 January 2011

Salt and pepper squid with noodles

Amazingly simple and quick.

Slit your squid tube (1 per person) down one side, open it up and slice it in half again. Score the outsides in a diamond pattern lightly with a sharp knife and cut each piece into three. Pat dry with some kitchen roll and set aside.

Heat a frying pan and toast 1 tsp each Sichuan and black peppercorns until slightly darkened. Pound them in a pestle and mortar and throw in about a tsp of sea salt.

Now’s the time to get the noodles and greens on. Tip your noodles into boiling salted water, give them 2 minutes then add in finely sliced greens of your choice. (Obviously if you’re using spinach, for the love of God don’t throw that in; instead wilt it in the heat of the drained noodles once they’ve cooked). After another 2 minutes, everything should be cooked, so drain reasonably thoroughly, put back in the pan and shake in a good 2 tbsp or so of soy sauce and a little drizzle of sesame oil. One thing I find every single time is that I’m too enthusiastic with the soy sauce and end up with puddles of it at the bottom,so go easy.

Get the frying pan back on a high heat and dust the squid with a little flour. Add the squid to the pan, in batches if your pan isn’t big, and cook until just opaque and ideally a little golden in patches. Toss in the ground seasoning and a few sliced red chillies and spring onions if you have them; dried chilli flakes will do if you don’t.

Tip the squid over the noodles, add a squirt of lime juice, and you may even like an extra dollop of chilli sauce. Lingham’s Garlic Chilli Sauce is my condiment of choice at the mo.

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