Smoky Gluten Free Salt & Pepper Squid


Last time, we looked at cleaning squid – or calamari – and this time I’m sharing my easy Smoky Salt & Pepper Squid, which serves 4 as a starter.

I’ve served this with a nam jim dipping sauce.


  • 2 medium squid, cleaned
  • 4 heaped tablespoons tapioca flour (you could use ordinary wheat flour, but it won’t be as light)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon salt (I have used smoked salt),
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper,
  • 1 teaspoon smoked chilli/paprika
  • Plain Oil for deep frying, I used basic vegetable oil

Dipping sauce

  • 2 tablespoons nam jim (or you could use sweet chilli sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Lime juice

Start by cleaning the squid, see this post for more details.

Mix the tapioca flour, salt, pepper and if you like, a little chilli too. I’ve used smoked salt (it’s the small brown pile below), as well as some lemon salt crystals for a bit of added crunch, but you can use good old table salt, it just won’t be as smoky. I’ve added a little smoked chilli powder too. Sweet smoked paprika will have the same effect.


Dust each piece of squid thoroughly in the flour.IMG_0589

Heat the oil to 180 degrees either in an electric fryer or on a stove using a thermometer, and fry in small batches for 90 seconds to 2 minutes depending on how thickly you’ve cut them. IMG_0590_2The beauty of a small batch is you can always try a piece to see if it’s cooked your liking, and give the next batch a little more or less time, depending on the result. Better to err on the side of caution – less cooking time initially, as over cooked squid is just nasty.IMG_0594

Adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Serve with dipping sauce:

Mix the nam jim, lime juice and fish sauce and taste for balance of sweet & salt.


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