Experiment: Tea-Fried Squid
Somewhere, in my Chinese cookery book collection, I have a recipe for Shrimp that are prepared by poaching in green tea (complete with reconstituted tea leave shreds). As yet, I haven’t tried it but, not long ago, I saw a picture of squid that had been fried after dusting with greenish fragments that weren’t identified. It was clearly an Asian preparation (I forget where I saw the picture), and I suspected the green ‘bits’ weren’t any common herb as might be used in the west. I wondered if, perhaps, it might be powdered tea. Anyway, the idea sounded interesting and so I put together the little appetizer you see pictured above. The idea is still rather a ‘work in progress’, but the first attempt was interesting enough that you might like to try something along the same lines yourselves…
- Fresh or frozen Squid (cleaned, and sans tentacles);
- Dried green tea (from teabags is fine);
- Cornstarch or flour;
- Salt and Pepper;
First, slice the squid bodies into sections about 2 by 3 inches or so.
Take a sharp knife and cut a shallow lattice pattern into one side each piece. This helps the pieces to curl nicely during frying and looks quite attractive for serving (although the effect is better when you don’t use batter, or coat with flour etc.).
Mix together your cornstarch, tea, along with a pinch of salt and pepper, then dredge each squid piece in the mix and allow them to sit for a few minutes.
Finally deep fry the pieces for a minute or two until they curl and just begin to brown. Drain and serve immediately. The seasoning here is very delicate so strong dipping sauces and the like will be a bit much for this preparation. However, I found that a drop or two of lemon juice was nice….