Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
- 400 g squid, cleaned (or baby squid)
- peanut oil, for deep-frying
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 5 tablespoons cornflour
Sweet chilli sauce
- 60 g caster sugar
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 -3 long red chilies, deseeded and roughly chopped (according to taste)
- coriander leaves
- 1 large lime, juice of
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 200 g baby bok choy, washed and large ones halved lengthways
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- fresh ground black pepper
- sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- Slice the squid into thick rings (or open out the squid tube and lightly score with a criss-cross pattern).
- Pat dry with kitchen paper and chill until ready to cook. Combine the salt, pepper, five spice powder and cornflour in a bowl and set aside.
- For the sweet chilli sauce, place the sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan with 3-4 tablespoons of water.
- Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil for 5-8 minutes until reduced and thickened.
- In the meantime, place the garlic, ginger, red chillies, coriander leaves and lime juice in a food processor and whiz to a coarse paste.
- When the sugar syrup has reached a light golden caramel colour, carefully add the spice paste, standing back as the caramel will spit.
- Stir in the fish and soy sauces. Return to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool completely before spooning into small, individual dipping bowls.
- Heat a wok with 5cm of oil until a piece of bread dropped into the oil sizzles vigorously.
- Working in batches, coat the squid with the cornflour mixture, shake off the excess and add to the oil. Deep fry until lightly golden and crisp, making sure not to overcrowd the wok.
- Drain on kitchen paper and repeat with the rest of the squid. Keep the crispy squid warm in a low oven while you cook the bok choy.
- Pour off the oil from the wok and carefully give it a wipe with kitchen paper. Return to the heat with a light drizzle of vegetable oil.
- Add the garlic and fry until it turns golden at the sides. Tip in the bok choy stems and stir fry for a minute.
- Season with the oyster sauce and black pepper, a dash of sesame oil and the chilli flakes. Stir frequently and as soon as the leaves have wilted, transfer to warm plates.
- Serve with the squid and sweet chilli sauce.