Crispy Fried Calamari

Crispy Fried Calamari…by far one of my favorite appetizers to try when I am dining out. I just love when it comes to the table crispy on the outside and tender on the inside…not so much when it’s rubbery or unappetizing on the outside.

So…I decided to create my own recipe that would not only be super crunchy on the outside, but also tender on the inside. It’s all about the marrying of the ingredients to create that perfect bite. If you are local to Charlotte, head on over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. and grab a pound or so of tubes and tentacles and let’s start frying!

Crispy Fried Calamari

What you need:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb. fresh squid (tubes and tentacles)
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt/pepper
  • canola oil for frying
  • lemon wedges
  • Sriracha Mayo (1/2 cup mayo mixed with 1 to 2 squirts Sriracha)

How to:

Rinse the tubes and tentacles in a colander. Remove any squid fins from the tubes…they are edible, but best taken off for this recipe. Cut tubes into rings. Lightly salt. Soak the rings and tentacles in the buttermilk for at least 20 minutes.

Tubes and Tentacles

Heat, to medium-high, enough canola oil in a pot to cover calamari…a few inches, or use a deep fryer. In a bowl, mix the AP flour, rice flour, paprika and a few dashes of salt/pepper. Transfer the calamari from the buttermilk to the flour mixture…allowing any extra buttermilk to drain off…coat the calamari and drop into the oil in batches.

As soon as the calamari turn a light golden brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all of the calamari have been fried. Serve with lemon wedges and Sriracha Mayo (recipe above).


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