Szechuan Pepper Squid with Naartjie Aioli and Green Salt

Serves six / Preparation time 5 minutes / Cooking time 30 minutes

For the aioli
  • Two egg yolks
  • 40ml Dijon mustard
  • 100ml Lemon juice
  • Zest and juice of one naartjie
  • 200ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 200ml Canola oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Two egg whites
  • 80ml Corn flour
  • 200ml Sparkling water
  • ½ tbsp Sea salt
  • Two tbsp Szechuan pepper
  • 1kg Squid, tubes and tentacles
  • 250ml – 400ml Canola oil (depending on the size of the saucepan)
For the green salt
  • One tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • Two tbsp Basil
  • Three tbsp sea salt

Serve this dish of fresh seafood and velvety aioli as a simple snack with a glass Warwick First Lady Chardonnay, or as a light meal with a tangy green salad.

  1. Make the aioli by mixing together the egg yolks and mustard, in a large round bowl. Add the lemon and naartjie juice, as well as the naartjie zest. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, followed by the canola oil – be sure to whisk continuously and add the oil slowly, otherwise, your mayonnaise will split. Once all the oil has been added, season to taste.
  2. Next, prepare the coating for the squid: beat the egg whites until frothy. Place the cornflour in a separate mixing bowl and gently mix the egg white into the flour. Add the sparkling water and the seasoning.
  3. Place the squid on a few layers of paper towel and pat dry. Heat a little of the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan over high heat, enough so that it reaches about 2cm up the sides. To test that the oil is hot enough, splash some of the batter in the oil – if it sizzles, you are good to go.
  4. Dip the squid in the mixture, about half a cup full at a time, and shallow fry until golden in colour. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
  5. In between frying the batches of squid, chop finely the parsley and basil and mix with the sea salt.
  6. Sprinkle the squid with the green salt and serve immediately with the naartjie aioli and a scattering of fresh basil.