|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 26g||33%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||26%|
|Total Carbohydrate 87g||32%|
|Dietary Fiber 9g||30%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 112mg||562%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Squid is a very popular food in Italy, and it comes in many shapes and sizes with many different names: calamari, calamaretti, totani, and seppie.
Calamari are small squid, and when they are served battered and fried, they are one of the most classic Italian summer seafood dishes. These are crisp golden rings of tender squid that people eagerly squeeze lemon wedges over and then quickly eat them while they're still hot—and before everyone else gobbles them up.
Tips for Perfect Fried Calamari
It's important to buy very fresh squid and to fry it quickly at high heat to prevent the squid, which is naturally meltingly tender, from becoming tough and rubbery. Cooking calamari for just the right amount of time is important for attaining the desired texture.
How to Serve Fried Calamari
Calamari are usually served quite simply with just lemon wedges and a light sprinkling of sea salt. However, you can also serve them with a dipping sauce, such as cocktail sauce, garlicky aioli, a simple tomato sauce, or spicy ketchup.
This recipe would pair well with wines, such as a dry white wine, a rosé, or Aperol spritzes, for a lovely summertime antipasto or aperitivo. It's also great finger food for a cocktail party. Although it looks impressive, it's actually super quick and simple to make.
"The fried calamari was delicious and easy to prepare and cook. The flavor was mild—the calamari was tender, not tough or chewy, after about 2 minutes at 350 F. They would be fabulous with aioli or marinara sauce for dipping." —Diana Rattray
1 pound (450 grams) squid rings, squid bodies sliced into 1/2-inch rings
3 cups peanut oil, or enough to reach 1 inch depth
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
Fine sea salt, to taste
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for garnish
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Rinse the squid pieces in running water and pat completely dry with paper towels.
In a large high-walled, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high, heat 1 inch of oil to 350 F, or until a small cube of bread dropped into the oil browns, about 30 seconds.
Place the all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Place the semolina in a small bowl.
Dredge the calamari rings in the flour, shaking them to remove excess. Dip the floured rings in the egg and then in the semolina.
Fry dredged calamari in several batches to avoid overcrowding, until crisp and lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a fine-mesh spider or a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Season to taste with salt and serve immediately with lemon wedges. Enjoy.
- Use any neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point for deep frying. Peanut oil is an excellent choice for calamari, as is refined coconut oil.
- Be careful not to overcook as your calamari can become chewy.
- Use whatever type of sauce you enjoy the most, whether it be a cocktail sauce, ketchup, tartar sauce, or rémoulade.
What to Serve With Fried Calamari
Serve calamari as an appetizer with dips or as a main dish with sides. Add one of these side dishes or dipping sauces to your menu.
- Marinara sauce.
- Garlic mayonnaise (aioli) or roasted garlic aioli.
- Caprese salad.
- Sriracha mayo.
- Crispy grilled polenta.
- Stuffed baked zucchini.
- Marinated roasted bell peppers.
- Cocktail sauce.
How to Store Fried Calamari
- Refrigerate fried calamari in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, transfer the cooled calamari to a zip-close freezer bag or airtight freezer container and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
- To reheat leftover fried calamari, preheat the oven to 375 F. Arrange the calamari on a cooling rack set on a baking sheet. Bake until hot, 10 to 12 minutes.