Images by: Emily Whitfield-Wicks

Neil Haydock, executive chef at Zacry’s at Watergate Bay shares this delicious recipe with us:

Recipe: Deep fried squid with Asian pesto

For the pesto

100g blanched peanuts, unsalted
50g coriander
50g flat leaf parsley
50g mint
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 piece of ginger, thumbnail size and finely chopped
Peanut or sunflower oil
1 lime
Fish sauce
Palm sugar to taste
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced

►Roast the peanuts in a hot oven until golden and allow to cool.
►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.
►Finally mix, through the diced chili.

For the squid

1kg fresh squid, cleaned
2 litres oil for deep frying
100g custard powder
5g chilli powder
A pinch of star anise powder
A pinch of dried thyme
Sea salt

►Heat the oil to 180oC in a fryer or large pan.
►Combine the custard powder, spices, thyme and salt together.
►Open up the squid tubes and lightly score the inside with a knife and cut into bite-sized pieces.
►Toss the tentacles in the spice mix and shake off any excess.
►Deep fry for around 30 seconds and place onto a tray containing kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.
►Repeat the process with the squid tubes.
►Place the pesto onto the plates and top with the squid and serve immediately.

Tip: We use custard powder as it gives 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.

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