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Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid

Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid

Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid is one of the most popular Chinese-American takeout dishes. Our recipe gives you crispy squid hot out of the fryer and on the plate within seconds.

Course Appetizer, seafood, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword crispy squid
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 appetizer servings
Author David Ross


  • 16 oz. Squid tentacles and rings, thawed, rinsed
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch chilled for one hour
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour chilled for one hour
  • ½ teaspoon salt we go light on the salt, but add more per your tastes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
  • soy sauce for dipping
  • Canola oil for frying


  1. Heat the canola oil in a heavy stockpot or deep-fryer to 350. You want enough oil to be about 3-4" deep in the stockpot or fryer.

  2. Dip some of the squid in the beaten egg whites and toss to coat. Then dredge the squid in the dry flour mixture. Add some of the squid to the hot oil and deep-fry, about 1-2 minutes until the squid curls and the oil stops bubbling. (Add just some of the squid at a time). Shake the squid or use chopsticks to keep it moving in the oil.

  3. Drain the squid on a cookie rack over a baking sheet for about 30 seconds, then serve hot with dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

We chill the dry ingredients in the fridge for one hour before frying.  Chilling the dry and wet ingredients will give you more crispy results.

The recipe works with prawns, just allow more frying time.  The prawns are done when they turn pink and the oil stops bubbling, about 3 minutes cooking time.