Szechuan Pepper Squid

Szechuan Pepper Squid

We love squid. It’s such a great ingredient to have as a starter. This version though is epic, you have to try it.

I was lucky enough to eat at High Grange Devon, where Luke and Sara run a superb outdoor cookery school. I went for a lunch with James Whetlor, the author of the Cooking on the Big Green Egg. Luke served a version of this squid recipe, and while he didn’t share the recipe, this is my take on it. He did let on that it contained MSG. 


Cooking surfaces


BBQ Temperature



  • 500g squid, get your fishmonger to clean it.
  • 100g cornflour.
  • 3 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp MSG (fine powder)
  • Coriander leaf to garnish
  • Slivers of red chilli to garnish
  • 1 litre rapeseed oil to deep fry in


  • Use the Big Green Egg EGGspander basket and wok to cook the squid.


  1. Setup your Egg for a direct cook at about 160°C with your EGGspander basket and wok. Fill the wok with about 4cm deep of oil and allow to warm. It should reach 220°C even though your Egg is only set to 160°C as the bottom of the wok is right by the fire.
  2. Cut open your squid hoods and score the inside with a criss-cross pattern. You’re cutting only halfway through the squid. 
  3. Portion all your squid into bite-size pieces. Do the same with the tentacles (you may leave these whole). 
  4. Drop your squid into the cornflour and toss to coat. Knock off any excess.
  5. Deep fry the squid for about 3 minutes. It’s best to do this in batches so as not to crowd the pan. 
  6. When cooked allow to drain on some kitchen towel. 
  7. In a mortar and pestle, roughly grind your Szechuan peppercorns. 
  8. Now stir the MSG and peppercorns through your squid.
  9. Drizzle with the lemon and dress with the chilli and coriander.

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