the appetizer:

Though once dominated by British culinary tastes, Australian cuisine is now influenced by a variety of Mediterranean and Asian foods introduced by immigrant cultures. Many people living outside of Australia think of native Bush Tucker when they contemplate Australian food, but Southeast Asian, Greek, Lebanese and Italian influences are now more common.

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Chilli Salt Squid

Chilli Salt Squid

Scoring the squid lightly with a knife makes it more tender.


2 fresh birdseye (or serrano) chilli peppers
3 cups (750 mL/24 fl oz) rice vinegar
1 cup (250 g/8 oz) white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
Seasoned Flour
5 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon fine salt


500 g (1 lb) squid cleaned
1 green capsicum (sweet pepper)
1 red capsicum (sweet pepper)
1 yellow capsicum (sweet pepper)
1 large carrot
1 large fresh red chilli pepper
1 small red onion
Vegetable oil
1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves


To make dressing, cut the chilli peppers in half lengthwise. Place the rice vinegar, sugar and chilli peppers in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to a thin syrup. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Strain and let cool.

To make seasoned flour, mix the flour and spices together and set aside.

To make salad, score the squid lightly with a knife to make a criss-cross pattern. Finely julienne the capsicums, carrot and chilli pepper. Finely slice the onion and mix it with the other vegetables.

Heat vegetable oil to a depth of 5 cm (2 in) in a deep saucepan or deep fryer over a medium heat. Dip the squid in the flour mixture until each piece is well coated and then fry until the flour crust is crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and then slice the squid into 1 cm (1/3 in) thick rings.

To serve, add the squid to the prepared vegetables and pour over the dressing. Toss and add the coriander leaves.

Buy the Book!

Recipe From:
A Taste of Australia: The Bather's Pavilion Cookbook
By Victoria Alexander and Genevieve Harris
Photographs by Rodney Weidland
Ten Speed Press
Cloth, $27.95
122 pages, full-color photography throughout
ISBN 0-89815-756-0
Reprinted with permission


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This page modified January 2007