Spicy Fried Squid with Aioli

Recipe from Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark.

While I was out and about today, I ventured into a book store and saw the cookbook, Dinner: Changing the Game for sale. I flipped through it and was immediately drawn to a gorgeous photo of a beautiful plate of squid. I read the ingredients and realized that this was super easy to make. I immediately bought it and my husband and I went to the grocery store so I could prepare us a late lunch (since we enjoyed this amazing breakfast earlier!). This recipe is really easy to throw together and especially fun if you're making it with a special someone! I only made a few minor tweaks to the recipe, such as adding extra lemon juice to the aioli to give it a bit more of a punch!


Serves: 2 (or 4 as an appetizer)

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 20 minutes


1 pound squid, a mix of white parts and tentacles

4 cloves of garlic, divide

1 Meyer lemon

1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

3 mini cucumbers

1 small bunch of mint leaves

1 or 2 Fresno chilis (or jalapeño, serrano, or Thai chili peppers)

Olive oil


Prep Ingredients: Rinse the squid and pat completely dry. Spread out on a paper-towel lined plate and chill, uncovered, until ready to use. Mince the garlic and divide. Cut the lemon in half and juice one half. Cut the other half into 2 wedges. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and additional egg yolk. Mince the chili pepper(s). Thinly slice the cucumbers and tear the mint leaves. Keep the mint and cucumber together in a medium bowl. 

Make the Aioli: In a food processor, combine half of the minced garlic and the juice from half of the lemon. Pulse to combine. Add the eggs and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil very slowly until completely combined and the aioli is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a small bowl and chill, covered. Note: The aioli will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Cook the Squid: Sprinkle half the squid with a bit of sea salt. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Once the entire skillet is very hot and almost smoking, add the squid and half of the minced chili pepper and cook without moving for 1 minute. Do not over crowd the pan. Flip and cook for an additional 1 minute and 30 seconds. Add half of the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and transfer to a bowl. Do the process again with the second half of the squid and the remaining chili pepper and garlic.

Transfer the squid to the bowl with the cucumbers and mint and toss gently to combine. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon wedges over the dish and season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.

To Serve: Serve the squid with a dollop of aioli on top and bring the additional aioli to the table for guests.

Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!