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  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. fresh squid (tubes and tentacles)
  • 1 to 1 1/4 C buttermilk
  • 1 C AP flour
  • 1/4 rice flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • kosher salt/pepper
  • canola oil for frying
  • lemon wedges
  • 1/2 C mayo
  • few squirts of Sriracha
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Crispy Fried Calamari is by far one of my favorite appetizers to order when I am dining out. I just love when it comes to the table crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. It’s hard to eat 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! This is a great appetizer for your Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner. Check out my other recipes for your Christmas Eve table by clicking here!

a plate of fried calamari

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.

squid tubes and tentacles in a colander

Heat, to medium-high, enough peanut, or canola oil in a pot to cover calamari. A few inches should do. You can also use a deep fryer. I love using this cast iron pan from Lodge. Click here! 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. Allow any extra buttermilk to drain off. Coat the calamari and drop into the oil. You will need to fry 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 this Crispy Calamari immediately with lemon wedges and Sriracha Mayo…ENJOY!!!

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