A less guilty way to enjoy your favourite crispy squid
Serves 4
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We like dunking our squid in batter before deep frying to produce that gold and crispy crunch so adept at picking up all the flavours from our spice mix.


  • 1 kg small whole squid or 600 g cleaned squid
  • 1½ tbsps salt flakes, crushed lightly
  • 2 tsps coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tsps ground Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ⅔ cup (100 g) cornflour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 4 long red chillies, seeded, sliced thinly
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium lemons (280 g), halved or cut into wedges

If using a whole squid, clean by pulling the head and tentacles away from the body. Pull out the clear backbone and remove the entrails. Cut tentacles away from head just below the eyes; discard head. Discard hard beak in the centre of tentacles. Cut tentacles in half, or quarters if large. Remove side wings and rub membrane from the body. Rinse body, tentacles and wings thoroughly. Cut the squid hoods down one side; open out and pat dry. Score the inside lightly with a small, sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern without cutting all the way through. Cut squid hoods into 2.5 cm x 5 cm pieces. Pat squid dry with paper towel.


Preheat a 7 litre air fryer to 200 C for 3 mins.


Meanwhile, combine salt flakes, peppers and chilli powder in a medium bowl; reserve 2 tsps spice mix to serve. Sift cornflour and baking powder over remaining spice mix. Stir squid in milk; drain. Toss squid in flour mixture to coat, shaking off excess; spray generously with oil.


Spray the air fryer basket with oil. Taking care, place half the squid in the basket, cook for 6 mins, turning halfway through cooking time, or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a tray; cover to keep warm. Repeat cooking with remaining squid and oil spray, adding sliced chilli and green onion during the last 30 secs of cooking time.


Top squid with sliced chilli and green onion; sprinkle with the reserved spice mix. Serve with lemon halves.

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