Salt-and-Pepper Squid with Chinese Five-Spice Powder

Wendy Leon gives this classic Chinese squid dish a fun twist by flavoring it with five-spice powder (typically a ground mixture of cinnamon, star anise, black peppercorns, fennel and clove). "It's her version of a Super Bowl snack," says her son Humberto. "Most kids eat chips; we grew up eating squid."

Slideshow:  More Chinese Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6


  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cornstarch, for dusting
  • 1 pound cleaned squid—bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1/2 red jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • Lime wedges, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Set a large rack over a large rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the five-spice powder with 1 teaspoon of salt.

  2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Spread cornstarch in another shallow bowl. Working in four batches, dip the squid in the egg; squeeze out any excess egg. Dredge the squid in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Add the squid to the hot oil and fry until golden and crisp, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the squid to the rack. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining squid.

  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the scallions, garlic, onion and jalapeño and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the squid and stir-fry until just heated through. Sprinkle with the five-spice mixture. Transfer to a platter or shallow bowl and serve right away with lime wedges.

Suggested Pairing

A bright, berry-scented sparkling rosé.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published June 2010

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