Octopus and squid are both known as bosra among the Ewe people. While this recipe was not part of the traditional diet, Barbara has adopted classic seasoning and deep-frying techniques to produce what has proven to be one of Flair’s most popular appetizers. This recipe calls for octopus or squid, or a combination, but other firm fish or shrimp could be substituted. There are two ways to prepare this dish: with a batter and without.
When preparing it where I live in North America, only cleaned and prepped baby squid is available. I do not buy the tentacles, just the tubular part of the body. Also, I buy baby octopus which is softer than the octopus in Ghana. Thus, this recipe recommends a pound of the baby squid (but over a pound of the octopus, unless intending to also cook the tentacles). This recipe is the one that convinced my cautious teenage nephew Sam to try (and like) squid and octopus. They complement beer, red or white wine, soda, or juices as an appetizer, or are a savory snack with tea or coffee.
At Flair they often dip the cooked pieces in a Ghanaian tomato gravy and serve them on a skewer like a kebab, alternating the fried octopus with fried squid, sweet bell pepper, tomato, and/or onion slices. They also serve them with little steamed cassava “pancakes” called yakayake. Sometimes, they sprinkle the fried squid or octopus over a large cooked fish as a garnish. In the U.S., I serve the squid and octopus with a hot sauce and a horseradish cocktail sauce. They also go well with Shito, or any hot sauce like sriracha or sambal oelek, or even ketchup.
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