“Kara-age” fried Squid tentacles ゲソの唐揚げ

japanese cake

While doing the regular weekly grocery shopping, I found some pretty good looking squid at our regular supermarket. This was a bit unusual since fish is not their forte. In addition, it appeared to be fresh and not previously frozen. I decided to get a pound of it. I have posted a few squid dishes in the past. I pondered what to make this time and decided on a quintessential Izakaya food called “Geso-no-kara-age” ゲソの唐揚げ. The origin of the word “geso” is “gesoku” 下足 which means footwear for outside (remember that Japanese don different shoes designated as inside or outside the house). In sushi bars’ and Izakaya’s parlance, “geso” means tentacles of squid–outside footwear for squid.

Squid: For this dish, I used all the tentacles and the “wings” or “enpera” えんぺら parts of the one pound of squid, which yielded small servings for two as you can see in the picture below. I cut off the “beaks” and any innards attached to the tentacles. Since this was a small squid, I did not divide the tentacles further. I marinated them in a mixture of soy sauce and sake (about 1:1) with small amount of grated garlic and ginger (1/4 tsp each) for 15 -20 minutes.

Flour: I removed the squid from the marinade and dried with a paper towel. I made a mixture of AP flour, potato starch or “Katakuri-ko”, and rice flour (about 1:1:1 ratio) or you could use just potato flour. This was my effort to try and maximize the crunchiness of the crust.

I shallow fried them in 170-180C oil (about half inch deep) turning often for 1-2 minutes. Because the oil tends to splatter, I erected a foldable metal wall around the pan. If I am not mistaken, this one was imported from Japan (even painted with a nice floral pattern, which is rather useless since the heat from the flame scorched the bottom black). We bought it at the hardware store specialized in Japanese items called “Soko hardware” 桑港金物店 in San Francisco Japan town many years ago. Sometimes, this works better than a Western-style splatter guard or screen. In any case, it may splatter a bit, so be careful. After I drained the excess oil on a paper towel, I served it with wedges of lemon while it was hot.

The crust came out nice and crunchy. The marinade imparted good flavor and saltiness from the soy sauce. We did not need anything else but lemon to enjoy this. It is a really good Izakaya fair but it may not look that appetizing to some since it looks somewhat like “worms”.

We had this with cold sake and it was a perfect starter dish. I made something else from the body of the squid.

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