Chef's Recipes

David Thompson's deep-fried squid with garlic and peppercorns

With the punchy flavours of garlic and spicy peppercorns, this is a twist on the crowd favourite Salt and Pepper Squid.

By David Thompson
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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David Thompson's deep-fried squid with garlic and peppercorns
"Use large new-season garlic if you can find it as it is succulent, aromatic and lingers long on the palate," says David Thompson. "Should the garlic be truly fresh, then there's no need to peel it. Pound it whole but remove the base and shoot that runs up the centre of the head. Deep-fry the garlic paste until golden and crunchy - a wok is the best piece of kit to use."
Pictured with stir-fried Siamese watercress.


  • Grapeseed oil, for deep-frying
  • 750 gm squid (hoods and tentacles), cleaned and scored, cut into 3cm-4cm pieces
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • Pinch of white sugar
  • Coriander, to serve
  • Banana leaves (optional) and sriracha sauce, to serve
Garlic and peppercorns
  • 1 large coriander root
  • 1/2 tsp white peppercorns, plus extra ground to season
  • 80 gm (about 25 cloves) mixed peeled and unpeeled garlic cloves


  • 1
    For garlic and peppercorns, crush coriander root, peppercorns and a good pinch of sea salt with a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and pound to a coarse paste.
  • 2
    Heat 10cm oil in a wok to 190C, add garlic paste and deep-fry, stirring and turning constantly, until golden (3-4 minutes; be careful, hot oil will bubble up). Drain well through a metal strainer into a heatproof bowl, then strain oil in a sieve lined with a paper towel into a heatproof bowl to clean it of any remaining garlic. Place fried garlic on a tray lined with paper towels and set aside in a warm place. Reserve garlic oil for frying squid.
  • 3
    Briefly marinate squid in fish sauce and sugar in a bowl (10 minutes). Heat garlic oil in a wok to 190C and deep-fry squid in small batches, reheating oil between batches, until cooked and golden (2-3 minutes per batch; be careful as hot oil may spit). Drain well on paper towels, then combine in a bowl with warm deep-fried garlic and peppercorns. Arrange on plates lined with banana leaves, scatter with coriander and extra pepper and serve with sriracha sauce.


Drink Suggestion: Hitachino Nest White Ale Drink suggestion by Greg Plowes