Thursday, October 14, 2010

Calamari Rings Fit for a King

This salad is a bit unusual - you would probably think the ingredients shouldn't go together, but oh they do!

Sichuan pepper, is not related to black pepper or chilli peppers - it takes its name from the Sichuan region of China and is the outer pod of a tiny fruit. It is known in Chinese as "flower pepper", but it is not hot or pungent like black or white pepper or chilli peppers, instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates and tingly numbness in the mouth.


Calamari Salad with Warm Pear and Sichuan Pepper:
(Serves 2)


100 - 150g Calamari Rings (I bought mine frozen from Pick 'n Pay)
2/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
1 Cup Sparkling Water
1 - 2 Tsp Cumin
2 - 3 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Pear, Sliced (with skin on) for Frying
1 Pear, Sliced and Kept Raw
1 - 2 Tsp Sichuan Pepper
Canola Oil for Frying
Salad Leaves such as Rocket and Corn Salad/ Lamb's Lettuce
Half Punnet Baby Tomatoes, Halved
Handful Chives, Snipped
Handful Almond Slivers
Sliced Avo (Optional)
Parmesan Infused Olive Oil (such as Willowcreek) or any other oil of your choice - Light Sesame or Grape would work well
A Squeeze Lemon Juice
Herbal Salt to Taste


Make a batter using the tapioca flour, sparkling water, cumin and sea salt (you may add Sichuan Pepper to the batter) The batter should not be too runny
Heat the canola oil
Dip the defrosted calamari rings into the batter and when the oil has reached boiling point, gently drop the rings into it, a few at a time - be careful as the oil splatters
Fry the rings for about 20 to 30 seconds - until the batter has become golden
Take out and lay onto paper toweling
Set the calamari rings aside
Drizzle some parmesan olive oil or any other oil of your choice into a pan
Sprinkle some Sichuan pepper over the pear slices and fry them in the oil for a few seconds on each side, until they have browned, but are still crunchy
Assemble the salad by layering the salad leaves, cooked pear and cook pear, chives, tomatoes, avo and almonds
Dress with a little lemon juice and herbal salt if you like
Dip the calamari rings in the batter again and quickly fry in the canola oil for a few seconds so that the batter becomes extra crispy
Top the salad with the crispy calamari rings

Remember to enter the October Cinnamon Sue Competition. Entries Close on 31 October 2010. Good luck :)

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