Calamari with basil mayonnaise

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus soaking
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes, plus soaking

Serves: 4 as a starter


400g Waitrose Frozen Squid Tubes, defrosted, tubes cut into 1cm rings
300ml whole milk
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
Pinch baking powder
About 400ml vegetable oil, for frying

1 Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Egg yolk, at room temperature
½ x 25g pack basil, leaves, torn
¼ tsp English mustard powder
½ tsp white wine vinegar
75ml vegetable oil
75ml olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus wedges to serve


1. Put the squid in a bowl and cover with the milk. Set aside for 20 minutes.

2. For the mayonnaise, blend the egg yolk, basil, mustard and vinegar in a food processor; season. Mix the oils and, with the motor running, slowly trickle them in to make a thick mayonnaise. Add lemon juice to taste; season and chill.

3. For the calamari, mix the flours and baking powder in a large bowl; season. Shake the excess milk from the squid and toss through the flour until coated.

4. Fill a large pan 1 / 3 full with oil and heat to 180˚C. Shake the excess fl our from the squid; fry in batches, for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Drain on a rack set over a tray. Season; serve with the mayo and lemon.