- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cup toasted bread crumbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound small squid, cleaned, bodies cut into thin rounds, tentacles intact
- 1/2 teaspoon chile oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 yellow inner stalks celery, washed and sliced
- 1/2 lemon, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons
- 1 quart frying oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, stemmed, washed, dried and torn
The lightly beaten eggs should be in one medium bowl and the bread crumbs in another. Season both the eggs and the bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Take the squid rings and tentacles and coat them with the egg. Remove and allow any excess egg to drip off, and then roll the pieces in the bread crumbs. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate.
In a medium-size saute pan, heat the chile oil lightly. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Take care not to brown the garlic but instead sweat it so that the liquid emerges and it becomes translucent. Add the sliced celery and stir to coat everything evenly. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the lemon slices and set aside to cool.
Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed pot (or alternatively, a deep fryer). Heat the oil slowly to 375 degrees F. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel to drain the squid once they are cooked.
When ready to serve, drop the squid, in small batches, into the oil. Fry until crispy, turning on both sides with a slotted metal spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain them on the lined baking sheet. Season immediately with salt and toss with the basil leaves. Serve the garlic sauce on the side or drizzle over top. Serve immediately.