Lime calamari

Lime calamari

Cherry has compiled a selection of her delicious recipes in her first book, The Handmade Home Here, This is one of our favourites for a gorgeously fresh late-spring meal...

  • Serves 6
  • 100g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 150ml beer (I prefer Budweiser)
  • 1 litre vegetable oil
  • 500g calamari
  • For the lime mayonnaise:
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • salt
  • ground white pepper
  • 275ml sunflower oil

Special equipment: cooking thermometer, slotted spoon

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, olive oil, salt and chilli flakes. Pour in the beer and mix until the batter is the consistency of double cream. Add more beer if it seems too thick. Leave the batter to chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan to 180C; use the thermometer to test the temperature. You can double test the heat of the oil by dropping a teaspoon of batter into the pan. If it turns golden in colour after a few moments, it is ready.
  3. Blot the calamari rings with kitchen roll to absorb any excess moisture. Lightly dust the rings in flour. Coat the calamari evenly in the batter mixture. Using a slotted spoon, lower the pieces into the oil, one at a time.
  4. Fry for about 3 minutes or until golden, turning each piece once. Layer a plate with several sheets of kitchen roll and, using the spoon, remove the calamari from the oil and lay them on the plate for the paper to absorb any excess oil.
  5. To make the mayonnaise, use a hand-held blender to mix together the egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and the mustard powder in a large jug. Season with salt and pepper and blend on a high speed until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  6. On a slow speed, drizzle the oil into the jug. Mix until the liquid begins to emulsify and thicken. Once the mayonnaise has thickened to the point where it makes soft peaks, add the lime zest and rest of the lime juice to taste. Add more seasoning if necessary.

Serving suggestion: Take 2 rings and put 1 on top of the other on a Chinese ceramic spoon. Drop a teaspoon of mayonnaise on top and add some grated lime zest. Serve with a side plate of lime wedges. The mayonnaise will keep in the fridge for a few days and is great with chunky chips or with fishcakes.

Photographs: Keiko Oikawa