I love seafood, and in particular squid (calamari is its Italian name). Whenever I’m on holiday I always get excited about sampling the fresh seafood, and in Greece last year I think me and my friend had grilled octopus for dinner nearly every day!
I’m lucky enough to live in an area of London which is full of Portuguese shops, one of which is also a fantastic fishmongers (Madeira So Peixe on South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall) so I have access to some great seafood. Sadly fresh squid isn’t always easy to get in a supermarket in London. Apart from giving the squid it a wash they do sell it whole, so you have to be very brave when removing the ink sac and other nasty bits, but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest!
I’d seen a recipe for crispy calamari in a cookbook recently which used pecan nut flour for the coating but don’t think we can but that in the UK. Perhaps ground almonds would work instead? Well, I was wandering in an Indian food store a while back and stumbled across a flour which was labeled chestnut flour. Thinking this was the same as the Italian chestnut flour I’d been looking for I bought two packets. Later I realised it was actually water chestnut flour (called Singoda Flour) and having no idea what to do with it, I researched a bit on the internet.
“A type of flour ground from water chestnuts, which are the edible tubers of an aquatic plant that grows along the muddy edges of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams or is cultivated commercially in flooded fields. Water chestnut flour is used more as a thickener and a coating for foods rather than as an ingredient for baked goods. When used as a thickener, water chestnut flour is usually stirred into water first before it is added to hot liquids and sauces. This technique reduces the formation of lumps that may otherwise occur (similar to cornstarch). Foods that are to be fried can be dredged in water chestnut flour to create a coating on the food. Water chestnut flour is available in some large food stores, natural and health food stores, and in Asian markets.”
Fantastic! What about using it for crispy calamari? Here goes.
I had mine with a colourful salad. Spicy greens and coriander courtesy of my window boxes!
Crispy Fried Calamari with Singoda Flour
- 1 egg
- splash coconut milk
- ½ cup Singoda flour
- 2 tablespoon flaxseed (not essential I added for extra crunch)
- lemon zest
- 1 v large squid - gutted, cleaned and sliced into rings
- Coconut oil
- To serve: parsley and lemon wedges
- Pre-heat a griddle pan with coconut oil (or a frying pan).
- Beat the egg (you may need a little coconut milk to make it go further) and add seasoning.
- Sprinkle the flour and flax on a large plate add lemon zest and seasoning.
- Dip the squid in the egg mix then into the plate of flour.
- Cook on a hot griddle pan, turning whilst cooking to avoid burning. When flour is browned squid is done. Don't over cook the squid or it will taste rubbery.
- Serve with fresh parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.