How to Make Fried Calamari (Calamari Fritti)

Fried Calamari
Rarin Arnamnart-EyeEm/Getty Images
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
333 Calories
11g Fat
29g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 333
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 490mg 163%
Sodium 564mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 29g
Calcium 123mg 9%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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: crisp golden rings of tender squid that people eagerly squeeze lemon wedges over and eat quickly while they're still hot–and before everyone else gobbles them up.

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.

They're 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 a dry white wine or rosé (such as Bardolino Chiaretto) or Aperol spritzes for a lovely summertime antipasto or aperitivo. It's also a great finger food for a cocktail party. Although it looks impressive, it's actually super-quick and simple to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (about 450 grams) squid rings (slice the squid bodies into rings)
  • A neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point for deep frying (such as peanut oil or refined coconut oil)
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons semolina flour
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
  • Fine sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rinse the squid pieces in running water and pat them completely dry with paper towels.

  3. Heat several inches of the oil in a large high-walled, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat to 350 F or until a small cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in about 30 seconds.

  4. Place the 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 before frying them in the hot oil; fry them in several batches to avoid overcrowding, until crisp and lightly golden, about one to two minutes.

  5. Using a fine-mesh spider or a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season them to taste with salt and serve at once with lemon wedges.

  6. Enjoy!