Tempura squid

Roy Brett's crunchy tempura squid makes a great sharing dish. You can prep your squid in advance and keep it in the fridge until you're ready

  • Prep:50 mins
    Cook:10 mins
    plus chilling
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 469
  • fat 24g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 38g
  • sugars 13g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 2.6g


  • 3 medium squid
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 lime, to serve
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 40ml lime juice (about 3-4 limes)
  • 40ml nam pla fish sauce
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 30g ginger, finely chopped
  • 50g roasted cashews or peanuts, finely chopped
  • ½ small pack coriander, chopped (use rest below)
  • 70g cornflour
  • 30g plain flour
  • 80ml sparkling water, chilled
  • small handful crushed ice
  • ½ small pack coriander, chopped


  1. To prepare the squid, reach inside the body and gently release the inners. Carefully pull the tentacles, trying to bring all of the inners away from the body, with the ink sac intact (don’t worry if it doesn’t stay intact, it just makes for cleaner preparation if it does).

  2. To prepare the tentacles, cut just above the eyes and halve any long tentacles - keep them whole if they aren't too long. Discard the inners and head. 

  3. Remove the quill from inside the body (reach inside and it will come away easily - it looks like a piece of plastic) and discard. 

  4. With your fingers, remove the wings from either side of the squid’s body. Pull off and discard the skin from the wings and body, setting these aside.

  5. Prepare the body. You will see a line where the quill sat – simply run a sharp knife along that line to open up the body. Score the inside part of the body and slice into bite-sized pieces. Rinse the tentacles, wings and body well, then transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water, ready for cooking.

  6. To make the dipping sauce, dissolve the sugar in the lime juice and fish sauce. Mix in the chilli, garlic, ginger and nuts, and set aside.

  7. To make the batter, mix the flours with a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground white pepper. Whisk in the sparkling water and crushed ice, then fold in the coriander.

  8. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large heavy-based saucepan (no more than half-full) to 180C, or until a piece of bread browns in about 45 secs. Drain the squid, tip into the batter and mix well. Fry in two batches, rubbing the squid gently with your fingers as it enters the hot oil, to separate the pieces. Cook for 2-3 mins until crisp and lightly coloured, then drain on kitchen paper and season.

  9. Add the coriander to the dipping sauce and pour into a little dish. Pile the squid around it and squeeze over the lime juice.

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