There are two staple dishes that I have to order in any restaurant that serves them : poutine and fried squid. I am constantly on a quest to find the perfect taste of fried squid. Although I do love restaurants and have stumbled upon quite a few great squid dishes, sometimes having them at home is even better. For a few years now I have played around with many batter recipes, frying oils and frying tools and after countless disappointment I believe I have come upon the winner!!
There are many elements that will make for a perfect fried squid ;
The fryer vessel
- My thoughts on this is that the right vessel will make or break your recipe. The winner for me is by far using a le creuset duth oven. It’s thick enamel really keeps the temperature of the oil consistent. I also find that the heat distribution is much more even. Now yes I could you my deep fryer but in my opinion seafood makes my fryer oil smell fishy. Therefore I prefer using only as much fresh oil as I need on the stove top and discarding it after instead of ruing the big batch of oil in my deep fryer.
The fryer temperature
- In my opinion HUGELY important in getting the right final product. First of all be patient and give plenty of time for the oil to come to the right temperature. Often the mistake we make is frying too quickly thinking that the oil temperature has done rising and then fiddling with the knobs because the oil is too hot then too cold. Turn your stovetop to medium wait quite a long time for the heat to distribute evenly then see if you need to adjust. Now for squid I like quite a high heat probably around 375F. I say probably because I prefer going by eye then by a thermometer. If my squid sinks to the bottom and the batter stays there, I’m off, If my squid sinks to the bottom and I can release it without damage, success! I believe a high temp is ideal for squid because they are so delicate that you don’t want them frying for too long. Also when you have the right temperature your squid won’t be greasy at all.
The fryer oil
- This is truly a question of preference. I have tried a few to see the differences and my final choice is vegetable oil. I like how it does not impact the flavour of my product.
- Just because a recipe tells you the quantitites, does not mean it will give you the result you are looking for. There are factors that will impact your batter very quickly. Such as the humidity and the ingredient you are frying. Now the batter I have fallen in love with makes gorgeous golden and airy fried squid. The texture of the batter is key, it is supposed to be very thick. Now the issue is squid whether fresh of frozen are somewhat wet. The fact that they have moisture will thin out your batter quickly. Therefore you must add flour as needed regularly to your batter so that the texture never changes. I add my squid to the batter in batches as I fry, and after each batch I adjust my batter so it stays the same consistency all the way through.
A splatter guard
- No this will not make a difference in your fried squid but it will make a huge difference in your clean up. It is a great tool to have also when making tomato sauce. Oil clean up is a pain and my batter of choice has water in it, which makes for lots of spatter when frying. Not to mention it’s very useful in avoiding that the oil spatters on you!!
Follow these tips and you are sure to have squid the right way every time. Buon Appetito