Five Spice Calamari
- 1kg whole small calamari
½ cup (75g) plain flour¼ cup (55g) crushed sea salt flakes/salt
1½ tablespoons ground white pepper
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1½ teaspoons chilli powder
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
lemon wedges for serving
- Clean calamari by gently pulling head and tentacles away from body. Remove clear backbone (quill) from inside body. Cut tentacles from head just below the eyes; discard head. Remove side fins and skin from body with salted fingers. Wash body, tentacles and fins thoroughly.
- Cut body to open out flat. Lightly score the inside of the flesh with a sharp knife in a diagonal pattern. Cut tentacles into pieces and fins into strips. Pat calamari dry on absorbent paper.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, five spice and chilli.
- Add a small handful of calamari to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Deep-fry calamari in hot oil until browned lightly and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain well on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining calamari and flour mixture. (Calamari is best eaten immediately but can be kept warm on a tray of absorbent paper in a very slow oven (120°C) while cooking batches.)
- Serve calamari with lemon wedges.