I've often said that I think salt and pepper squid could well be our national dish – almost everyone loves it and you can get it in just about every pub, Asian restaurant or Italian cafe in the country.
• about 2 litres vegetable oil, for deep-frying
• 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled, lightly crushed
• 3 thin spring onions, finely sliced
• 1 large red chilli, sliced
• 500g squid tubes
• ½ cup wholemeal plain flour
• lemon wedges, to serve Fennel salt and pepper
• 2 tsp salt
• ½ tsp black peppercorns
• ½ tsp fennel seeds
For the fennel salt and pepper, place all the ingredients in a dry saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the saucepan regularly until the fennel and pepper are fragrant, then remove from the heat. Use a mortar and pestle to pound to a fine powder.
Heat the oil to 200°C in a wok or large saucepan. Add the garlic, spring onion and chilli and fry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil with a wire mesh and set aside. Cut the squid into rings and toss in flour. Shake off any excess flour and deep-fry the squid in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes for each batch. Drain well, then toss all the fried ingredients together and season well with the fennel salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
Also try: Adam Liaw's bushranger pie.