Fried Calamari is a classic summer dish. I’ve made Grilled Calamari ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkSBbpUMRIc ) on this show before, but today I’m making the fried version so you can see how to make this one too. Both versions are very popular, but I do find that children tend to like the fried version better because it’s more common in restaurants. A lot of people are unsure about home frying, but I promise it’s not as intimidating as you think!
To begin the dish, I buy good quality squid at our fishmonger. When you purchase yours be sure to ask if it has been cleaned. Otherwise, you have to clean the squid at home. I don’t mind doing that, but it can be a bit of process if you’ve never done it before. Once the squid is clean, cut it into rings and proceed to bread it according to the recipe.
Since we fry at home a lot, I always have frying oil on hand. I use it in a stainless steel pan with high sides. Calamari doesn’t splatter too much, but having high sides on the pan you fry with is helpful to prevent spilling and such.
Cooking the Calamari doesn’t take long so I recommend you have everything ready for before you begin. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, get your slotted spoon out, and have lemon wedges sliced and ready for squeezing over the finished product. Once the fish is just cooked quickly remove it to drain. You don’t want to overcook it or the squid will get chewy and overdone.
Serve Calamari hot from the pan with fresh lemon juice squeezed over it. This gives the dish incredible flavor and a bright, fresh zing. I also serve tzatziki or a similar yogurt-style dip on the side. I find the cooling flavor and texture are a great pairing with the fresh seafood. This is just like we serve it at our restaurant – enjoy!
This is one of the most classic Greek recipes in the world. Fried calamari is served at all the restaurants and people make it at home, too. A lot of people are surprised that I make it at home, but it really isn’t that difficult. Once you realize how quickly it comes together, you’ll start making it at home a lot, too!
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 pounds of fresh whole calamari
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
¼ tsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup Flour
3 cups Vegetable Oil
Lemon for serving
Prepare the squid by slicing it into rings, leave the tentacles whole.
In a shallow bowl mix the salt, pepper, paprika, olive oil. Add the calamari and make sure it is completely coated.
Place the flour in a shallow pan and add the calamari and toss it well.
Add the vegetable oil to a shallow pan with straight edges and bring to medium-high heat.
You’ll know the vegetable oil is ready when it sizzles when a pinch of flour hits the oil.
Add the calamari batches and fry it until it’s completely cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Remove the calamari to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Squeeze a lemon wedge over the top of the calamari while it’s still warm. Serve warm with extra lemon for people if they’d like it!
Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.658.8659.