Grilled Squid with Oregano and Chilli

Recipe by Mitch Tonks
Fish is the ultimate fast food. Healthy, easy to prepare and quick to cook, it is ideal for our modern busy lives. But which fish to choose and how to cook it? In the cookery book 'Fish Easy', by Mitch Tonks, he offers over 100 recipes that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes and also includes what to ask your fishmonger. Published by Pavilion. 


Serves 4

4 squid (calamari), each about

150 g/5½ oz, cleaned and skinned

olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp fennel seeds, finely ground

2 small handfuls of fine fresh breadcrumbs

2 handfuls of rocket (arugula) to serve

juice of ½ lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve

For the dressing:

4 mild red chillies (chiles), deseeded and finely diced

1 small dried bird’s-eye chilli (chile)

1 red (bell) pepper, roasted, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh curly parsley

pinch of dried oregano

1 tbsp good-quality white wine vinegar with some sweetness

100 ml/3½ fl oz/1⁄2 cup olive oil


Preheat the grill to hot – whether it’s an overhead grill (broiler), grill plate or barbecue (if a barbecue, ensure the flames have died down and the coals are glowing and covered with white ash before cooking).

Slice the squid from top to bottom, then open it out and make diagonal cuts across it first one way and then the other, making sure the depth of the cut is just halfway through the thickness of the squid. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the fennel seeds and breadcrumbs. Place under the grill, cut side facing the heat – the squid will curl on itself, and cook until golden and evenly charred on the knobbly bits – for 6–8 minutes.

To make the dressing, mix together all the ingredients (you can sweeten your vinegar if necessary with a little caster/superfine sugar), taste to balance the flavours and season – sweet, hot, and aromatic from the oregano is what you are looking for.

To serve, place the squid on a plate and spoon the dressing liberally over it. Dress the rocket with a little olive oil and lemon juice, season and serve with the squid and lemon wedges.