So lets see, let me think hard and good when was the very first time I had Fried Calamari….ohhhh, I know, it was one Sunday afternoon after church, I was 9 years old and where was I? Hmmm, I remember! I was in the Bronx,Bronx, NY…. There was this local Chinese fish market at the corner bus stop…they sold all kinds of fish and shellfish but also had a side of the market which was dedicated for customers who wanted to eat “on the go.” So while people waited for the bus, you where enticed by the smells to order a fried flounder fish sandwich or maybe a fried crab stick (which was one of my favorites at the time!) from this place! Well, my mom, always made sure to order me one of those while we waited for the bus but one day, we changed it up a little bit to try their fried squid, well needless to say, I’ve been in love with fried calamari ever since.
I now can say, I’ve enjoyed this delectable piece of heaven in many ways. I have experimented different variations of Calamari…some truly amazing like this recipe of calamari tacos from Closet Cooking! And some truly good and amazing! Like this one!! 😋
And what’s great is this recipe is a simple but yet super hyper delicious especially with the Creamy Chipotle sauce!! And that’s super easy too to make!
Did you know that Fried Calamari, is considered one of the classiest of fried foods?! Well it sure is! Being this delicious how could it not be! There are some tips and tricks to making sure your calamari comes out hyper delicious.
First, let me start by explaining a few things about this here squid. A squids body is made up of a long cone shaped exterior called the mantle and of course the famous tentacles. Even if you haven’t eaten squid ever before, surely at some point you have seen the very familiar O-shaped rings, well these come from the mantle and if by chance, you have been somewhere and wondered, “What is that person eating? It looks like onion rings, hmmm is it onion rings?” Maybe now you will wonder if it is indeed fried calamari?
Here’s the thing, FOR ME, the best part of squid is the tentacles!!!! I just lovvvve them! I just find them to be tastier!!! (chuckle!)
Okay let’s get back to the tips and tricks! To have the most moist “FRIED CALAMARI” YOU must follow some rules…..
- Fried in VERY hot oil…..for 90 seconds to 2 minutes in BATCHES!!!! Not all at one time! You will lower the heat of the oil and uhhhh that’s a bad thing! You will end up with a rubbery, tough, chewy substance similiar to rubber bands; that is if you have ever had those! (chuckle!)
- Whether you use flour or cornstarch to coat, coat your calamari at the last second, right before you are ready to cook it.
- If you have the time to do this step, please do, you will be pleased you did! After you have chopped up your squid into rings and tentacles in half down the middle, soak in buttermilk for an hour and even overnight in a bowl, stored away in the fridge. This step here, helps in preventing your calamari from becoming tough and rubbery!
I could go on about Calamari, REALLY, I could, but I think it’s time to move forward to this yummmmmy delicious mexican appetizer….oh wait!!! I didn’t talk about the CHIPOTLE SAUCE! Very simple to make but again, HYPER DELICIOUS, a little bit of Mayo ( be proud of them wings, they’re the only one’s you’re gonna leave here with Mayo-nnaise!) Anyone know what I’m talking about here?! (chuckle!)
Okay, so again, a little bit of MAYO, some chipotles peppers in adobo sauce, fresh garlic, lemon and some salt=YUMMYNESS!!!
I also like to drizzle a cilantro vinaigrette over my fried calamari with creamy chipotle sauce, optional for you, but surely worth it.
You know, they say life is short, well if you haven’t had CALAMARI before, get moving!!! Life doesn’t wait, and neither does the “fried squid,” lol! Your friends may decide to devour it just before you decide to taste a piece of ecstasy!
So here we go!
After making your sauces, rinse and soak calamari in buttermilk/egg mixture.
Mix the spices into flour and coat calamari.
Fried Calamari with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- 1lb fresh squid (if you cannot find fresh squid, you can use frozen good quality squid with rings and tentacles)
- 1 cup buttermilk (can use milk)
- 2 Cups flour
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 Teaspoons paprika
- Canola oil for frying
Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- 2 chipotle (jalapeños) in adobo sauce
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic (coarsely chopped)
- 1/2 lemon (juiced)
- pinch of salt
Cilantro Vinaigrette (Optional)
- 1/4 virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
|Creamy Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Vinaigrette|
|Add one or two chipotle(s) in adobo sauce, mayonnaise, lemon, garlic and pinch of salt to a food chopper and blend unto well combined. Set aside. If you decide to make the Cilantro Vinaigrette, add the cilantro and olive oil to a blender and blend for a few seconds. Set aside.|
|For the Calamari|
|Rinse squid under cold running water. Separate the body from the tentacles with a knife. Then cut body (mantle) of squid into 1/2 inch rings and divide tentacles into two to three pieces with knife. In a medium size bowl whisk egg and add in buttermilk. Add calamari and let soak for 20 minutes.|
|In a fryer or heavy pot, add about two inches of oil and heat to 375 degrees fahrenheit (190 Celsius). Rinse calamari. In a bowl mix flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss the calamari in with the seasoned flour to cover. Shake off excess flour. Fry until golden brown (90 seconds). No longer than about two minutes or the calamari will become chewy and rubbery. Serve on a platter with Creamy Chipotle sauce and serve immediately. Sprinkle Cilantro Vinaigrette over top of calamari.|