This classic Cantonese starter is simple to make, but for real success, there are a couple of rules you need to follow. Most important: always use clean oil for your deep-frying. The resulting batter will be crisp, crunchy and light, as opposed to heavy, greasy and 'dirty' in flavour. And be sure to serve it immediately: this dish is best eaten piping hot.
- Rinse and dry the squid thoroughly.
- Slice each squid tube horizontally into 1/2in rings. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine both types of flour with the chili powder, sea salt and Szechuan pepper. Add the squid and toss to coat, shaking off any excess flour.
- Fill a wok with oil to about a third full (about 2 cups) and heat until the surface seems to shimmer slightly.
- Add half the squid and deep-fry it for between 45 seconds and 1 minute, or until it's just tender and beginning to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Repeat the process with the remaining squid.
- Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and top with the squid. Serve with the lemon wedges.