Salt and Pepper Calamari with Sweet Chilli Sauce

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Who says easy living is just for summer?  Try this quick and elegantly simple recipe devised for Two Oceans by well-known foodie Justine Drake.

 Keep any left-over sweet chilli sauce in the fridge to serve with grilled chicken or fish.



  • 1/4 cup (60ml) cornflour
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp (3ml) turmeric
  • 500g calamari tubes, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • Canola oil for deep frying
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) sea salt
  • 1 tsp (5ml) mixed peppercorns (black, white and/or rose)


  • Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Toss calamari into flour mixture until well coated.
  • Heat oil 4cm deep in a saucepan and fry calamari in batches, for around 60 to 90 seconds, until crispy.
  • Drain on kitchen towel.
  • Grind salt and pepper in a mortar and sprinkle over the hot calamari.

SWEET CHILLI SAUCE (makes about 350ml)


  • 2 cups (500ml) sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup (250ml) tomato juice
  • 1 cup (250ml) white wine vinegar
  • 2 to 4 red chillies, chopped
  • Splash of fish sauce, optional


  • Place all the ingredients in a pot.
  • Stir until sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil, lower the temperature and simmer for about 7 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Serves 4

Drake reckons the chilli sauce will raise the temperature just enough to counter the cooler weather and suggests pairing it with the newly released 2012 Two Oceans Pinot Grigio.  Light, aromatic and very food-friendly, it’s one of the few wines produced from this cultivar in South Africa.

Although one of the most popular wine varietals in the US, Europe and the UK, local plantings of Pinot Grigio account for no more than around a quarter of 1% of South Africa’s national vineyard of just over 101 000 ha.

The 2012 Two Oceans Pinot Grigio is brilliantly clear with flashes of green and has a subtly floral nose with hints of dried peach, apricot and litchi. “Its refreshingly fruity palate just begs for a dish with a bit of a bite,” says Two Oceans spokesperson Ebith Jurgens. “The wine makes a great partner to Asian and Mediterranean foods and its unusually silky texture is very appealing,” says Ebith. The 2012 vintage retails nationally for about R30.