Deep-Fried Pepper Calamari Recipe
2 large calamari (squid)
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon castor (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon corn four
Oil for deep-frying
½ teaspoon sea salt
Cut calamansi limes, to serve
Wash calamari. Pull out, cut off, and discard head. Cut tentacles into small clumps. Slit body tube and open out flat. Pull off skin. Score parallel lines lengthwise along inside of body tube, then slice across into thin strips. Dry calamari well with paper towels. Mix calamari with pepper, sugar, and corn flour. Heat oil in a wok over high heat until shimmering and giving off a light haze, about 190°C. Slip calamari into oil, separating the pieces with chopsticks. Fry in small batches, for 45 seconds per batch until calamari pieces curl up and brown very lightly. Sprinkle with salt and serve with limes on the side.
Note: If you can get hold of baby calamari, which are about 4 cm long, use them instead, but deep-fry them until browned and crisp. Serve with sweet flour sauce or chili ketchup as a dip.