Carina’s Lightly-fried Squid With Home-made Mayonnaise

Lightly-fried Squid

  • 200g cleaned squid, thinly sliced, washed and dried well
  • 100g strong white flour
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp Maldon salt
  • 300ml olive oil
  • Samphire to garnish


  • Choose a deep casserole pot to fry the squid. This helps hols the consistency of the oil if you don't have an electric deep fat fryer.
  • Heat the oil to 190°C, or until it is hot enough that if you add a piece of squid it will sizzle but not spit.
  • Season flour in a bag with the salt and cayenne pepper. Dip the dried squid in the flour and shake off any excess.
  • Slowly add the squid to the oil and fry gently until golden. Remove and drain on kitchen towels.
  • Enjoy garnished samphire and some delicious home-made mayonnaise...

Home-made Mayonaise Ingredients

  • 2 organic free-range egg yolks from the fridge
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp Dijon or English mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 300 ml light olive oil or sunflower oil


  • In a food processor or blender add egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard and salt
  • Set the machine to slow, and very slowly drizzle the oil in, a tiny amount at a time
  • When the mixture starts to thicken you can add a little more oil until the texture is like thick yogurt
  • Tip: If the mixture is too thick it can be thinned with fresh cream.
Credit: Carina Contini

Deep Fried Delight

by Carina Contini

Chips – of course.
Fish – yes, and squid – definitely…
but Carina draws the line at pizza!



I have a crystal-clear memory of standing on a chair, frying chips in the Wemyss Café in Port Seton just before I started primary school. I must have just turned five years old. It’s as clear as my first pink plastic pram and the day I lost my favourite teddy. Happy and sad memories are just as vivid if you’re five or 50.

My mother says I’m talking absolute rubbish – she’s promised me she would never have let me stand on a chair. There was no doubt that I’d have been allowed to fry the chips!

I’ve always been tall, so chances are that I did the frying but on foot. I was an enthusiastic helper who loved being in the kitchen, as close to the source of food as possible.

Regardless of the health and safety breaches of my mother, I’ve always loved fried food. “Who doesn’t?” I hear you say. However, there are some things I’ll draw a line at. Battered Mars Bars and deep fried pizza will never pass my lips. The person who invented either of these two culinary monsters should be dipped in batter, fried, wrapped in newspaper and binned – quickly.

That said, the demand for fried food is as strong as ever. It’s a Friday night staple for some, and makes an appearance on even the most fashionable menus. Everything in moderation serves us all well, and a good fish supper is good for the soul, if not always for our waistlines.


Fish & Chip Shop Heroes


The Italians held the territory for decades as the place to go to enjoy this original fast food takeaway, but in recent years the Scots have taken over the mantle, with several of our chippies holding national hero status. The Bay Fish in Stonehaven, the Anstruther Fish Bar and Cameron’s Chip Shop in Stornoway have all at one time been crowned Fish & Chip Shop of the Year, which is just fantastic.

Buying fish fresh off the harbour quayside, these fish and chip shops are selling the simplest but best fresh food around. Sustainable awards abound: you’ll know the boat, the catch zone, and the skipper’s weight if you’re lucky. Haddock may be catch of the day, or a little bit of hake or coley. These less popular but equally tasty quality fish taste great and stocks are at such high levels that they’re some of the best choices for the environment.

Meat has never really worked deep fried. In Italy you’ll often find things like tripe and sweetbreads deep fried, but I’ve always managed to resist these. However, vegetables, fish and bread doughs always work really well. A constant favourite is deep fried squid – calamari.

Charm your fishmonger and he’ll do all the dirty work for you, as squid can be messy to prepare. However there are loads of videos on the internet if you’ve drawn the short straw and have to clean these many-armed sea creatures yourself.


You can catch a fresh recipe from Carina
in The Scots Magazine each month


Carina Contini is Owner of Contini George Street, Edinburgh; Cannonball Restaurant & Bar, Castlehill, Edinburgh; and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant – located at the gardens entrance of the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

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