Fried Calamari Recipe (2024)

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This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection. Best of all, they are the perfect appetizer for any gathering or dinner party.

I've always loved getting calamari as an appetizer, but sometimes it's a bit chewy and difficult to eat. A friend served this at our weekly girl's get together and it was perfect, delicious and tender.

Fried Calamari Recipe (1)

Jump to:
  • The Marinade
  • The Batter
  • The Flavor
  • Tips for Perfect, Crispy Calamari
  • Ingredients
  • Instructions
  • How to reheat fried calamari
  • Related Recipes:
  • Full Recipe

From the taste and texture, I presumed she either found a special type of calamari to serve, bought something pre-made and just reheated or found a special time-consuming recipe to make it so good.

It was none of those things. In fact, it was so easy, she was almost reluctant to tell me her secret. She simply marinated the calamari in buttermilk and fried them in seasoned flour to make them not just tender but also delicious.

Fried Calamari Recipe (2)

Not only was the fried calamari excellent, but she also served it with a lemony aioli sauce and a side of fresh cut lemon that was divine. I've always dipped in tartar sauce or marinara sauce, but this sauce was light and added to the experience.

I managed to get the recipe from her for the sauce too. Wow, both are so easy that I'm now serving these every chance I get. We had an end of summer party where everyone brought a dish.

Some of my friends asked that I have these on the menu, so I asked Jennifer if she was going to bring them or should I.

Fried Calamari Recipe (3)

Since she was kind enough to give me this scrumptious recipe, I let her be the heroine and bring them, but we floured and fried them right at the party, setting up a little serving area.

I provided a fresh lemon and she had already prepared the lemony aioli. I had a small fry baby cooker she used and Jennifer's station was the hit of the party.

The trick when frying was to prevent overcrowding in the fryer and only prepare a small amount at a time.

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Fried Calamari Recipe (4)

The Marinade

I learned or read online that soaking the squid in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes or for an hour before cooking will tenderized it.

I tried it and found that it works: my calamari still has a bite, but they're less chewy.

Why Buttermilk Instead of Eggs? The acidity in the buttermilk helps keep the calamari tender and helps create a lighter, crispier batter.

Fried Calamari Recipe (5)

The Batter

The batter makes a big difference when cooking calamari aside from the texture of course. They range from simple to the slightly more complicated.

I prefer my calamari to be lighter in coating. So, after a bit of experiment, I concluded that actually, the cornflour is what makes the difference here. The result is a crispy coating that won’t fall off during frying.

The Flavor

Adding paprika imparts a richer brown color and when it comes to crispy fried calamari, less is more.

Using cornflour with the good old fashioned flour and seasoning mix, this trick works every single time!

Try sprinkling the squid rings with extra salt flakes fresh out of the pan, adds extra crunch.

Tips for Perfect, Crispy Calamari

Don't overcrowd the pan when cooking these squid rings to attain vital crisp results. Overcrowding tends the pieces to release water and they'll steam rather than fry. Deep-frying in batches without over-crowding will help maintain oil temperature.

Use a good quality calamari to start with when preparing this dish. To actually taste it, I noticed that slightly thicker (with about 1 cm rings), there's more Calamari to get your teeth into.

For the coating, use cornflour and bread flour instead of regular flour to get that vital crunch results. While the flour seasoning is a matter of preference, adding fresh herbs like paprika and garlic powder (or oregano) will absolutely lift the flavors.

Always use a clean oil and the perfect temperature to cook is 170°C (340°F) heat when frying. Check your oil by sprinkling a pinch of flour into a hot oil, if it bubbles, then it's ready.

Ingredients

for Calamari:

  • 1 lb calamari bodies sliced into ½ inch rings, tentacles left whole
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk

Flour Seasoning:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup cornflour
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes optional

Garnish:

  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • lemon wedges to serve

Lemon aioli:

  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • dash of Tabasco
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prep the Aioli and the Squid:

  1. Prepare lemon aioli by whisking together mayonnaise and the lemon Aioli ingredients.

Aioli ingredients

  1. Clean and prepare the calamari and soak in buttermilk for 30 minutes or better for at least an hour.

Prep the Flour Seasoning:

  1. Combine flour & cornflour with flour seasonings (like paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne powder and red chili flakes).
  2. Once you've finished soaking, dredge the calamari in seasoned flour, tossing evenly to coat.

Cooking the Calamari:

  1. Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully drop a handful of the calamari into the hot oil.
  2. Cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to a paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Repeat with remaining calamari.
  5. Sprinkle parsley on top. Serve with lemon wedges and lemon aioli.

How to reheat fried calamari

Using the oven is by far your best option if you want to reheat the calamari. It may takes for about 10 minutes or more to be able to get it back to the same texture when you first cooked it.
Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Arrange the calamari on a lined baking sheet
  3. Heat for about 10-15 minutes or until it is fully re-heated
  4. Just make sure that the squids are completely re-heated before taking them out.

Do Not Use the Microwave

Never nuke any leftover fried calamari. I am guilty of this as well as this could be the easiest or convenience way to reheat the food.
However, I learned that reheating fried foods in the microwave will render the opposite result.

When using the microwave, any fried foods will end up soggy and we don't want to eat "soggy" fried calamari. Which means, throwing them in the oven is the only way to do it.

You can check these Japanese Potato Croquettes for a different kind of crispy treats that my family enjoys.

Fried Calamari Recipe (6)

I never thought making this Baked Furikake Salmon recipe using an air fryer would result in the juiciest, most tender salmon each time.

Fried Calamari Recipe (7)

Full Recipe

Fried Calamari Recipe

3.65 from 222 votes

Pin Recipe

Marinating the squid in buttermilk defeats the rubber band effect some fried calamari tends to have. These crispy fried calamari are the perfect appetizer for any gathering or dinner party.

Servings: 4

Prep Time 40 minutes minutes

Cook Time 3 minutes minutes

Total Time 43 minutes minutes

Ingredients:

Calamari:

  • 1 lb calamari bodies sliced into ½ inch rings, tentacles left whole
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk

Flour Seasoning:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup cornflour
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes optional

Garnish:

  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • lemon wedges to serve

Lemon aioli:

  • cup mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • dash of Tabasco
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Prep the Aioli and the Squid:

  • Prepare lemon aioli by whisking together mayonnaise & the lemon Aioli ingredients.

  • Clean and prepare the calamari and soak in buttermilk for 30 minutes or better for at least an hour.

    Fried Calamari Recipe (9)

Prep the Flour Seasoning:

  • Combine flour & cornflour with flour seasonings (like paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne powder and red chili flakes).

  • Once you've finished soaking, dredge the calamari in seasoned flour, tossing evenly to coat.

Cooking the Calamari:

  • Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees F.

  • Carefully drop a handful of the calamari into the hot oil.

  • Cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

  • Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to a paper lined baking sheet.

  • Repeat with remaining calamari.

  • Sprinkle parsley on top. Serve with lemon wedges and lemon aioli.

    Fried Calamari Recipe (10)

Notes:

1.) Why buttermilk instead of eggs? The acidity in the buttermilk helps keep the calamari tender and helps create a lighter, crispier batter. So, adding eggs or breadcrumbs is not necessary.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 282mg | Sodium: 1436mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1035IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 3mg

Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

Did you make this?I would love seeing what you've made! Tag me on Instagram @theforkbitedotcom or leave me a comment or rating below.

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: Asian, Mediterranean

Keywords: best fried calamari, best fried calamari recipe, crispy fried calamari recipe, fried calamari, fried calamari recipe, how to fry calamari, how to fry calimari, how to make fried calamari

Fried Calamari Recipe (2024)

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