These are proper deep-fried scampi, a million miles away from the ones with that unidentifiable filling that you find in pubs. I serve this dish in my Selfridges restaurant, using fresh peeled langoustine or Dublin Bay prawn tails, but you can also find good frozen raw scampi tails at fishmongers and in supermarkets.
I only use Doves Farm gluten-free self-raising flour for my batter these days; it stays so much crisper than batter made with normal self-raising flour.
16-24 pieces of raw scampi (Dublin Bay prawn tails)
Plain flour for dusting
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
Lemon wedges to serve
For the sauce
3tbsp homemade or good-quality mayonnaise
1tbsp chopped green herbs (parsley, tarragon, chervil, dill)
Lemon juice to taste
For the batter
120g Doves Farm gluten-free self-raising flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
First make the sauce: mix the mayonnaise and the herbs together, then add lemon juice to taste and season. Transfer to a dipping pot.
To make the batter, put the gluten-free flour into a bowl and whisk in enough cider to make a fairly thick batter, then season to taste.
Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer.
If the scampi have been defrosted, dry them on some kitchen paper, then season and lightly dust with flour.
Dip them into the batter, then carefully drop them into the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden, then drain on kitchen paper. You may need to do this in several batches, depending on how many you are cooking for. You could also cook them all off lightly without colouring them too much and re-dip them in the hot fat when you need them. This is the best way for big numbers, otherwise you will find that your hands are constantly covered in batter.
Serve with the lemon wedges and the herb mayonnaise.