Calamari is probably one of the easiest and quickest appetizers to prepare. Every time we order calamari in restaurants, I am always surprised on how fast the servers get back to us with the order already with them — still hot and crunchy on the outside, while very soft in the inside. That is how a perfect calamari should be, in my opinion. I personally like the calamari fritti of Lou Malnati’s and the spicy calamari of Olive Garden is also a good one. The good news is you do not need to dine-in any restaurant to enjoy a perfectly delicious calamari appetizer. You can always make this in your home kitchen, but make sure to open the windows and vent, or else your place will smell appetizing too.
Most of us have had calamari, at least once or several times. For the benefit of those who are not familiar to this yummy appetizer, calamari refers to a squid dish. This is usually made from squid rings. The squid is dipped in a batter or dredged in a breading of some sort (depending on the recipe) and deep fried until the texture of the breading becomes crisp. This Easy Calamari Recipe will help you understand better on what a basic calamari is all about. This dish can have different names around the world; in particular, this is known as “calamares” in the Philippines, and there are hundreds of good calamares recipes that you can try. Calamari also refer to whole small squids that are cooked the same way. While the squid is the life of a calamari dish, the batter/breading and the dip plays an important role in making your calamari more enjoyable to eat.
Going back to this Easy Calamari Recipe, I am showing you a very basic way to make calamari. This recipe involves squid rings which you can get in the frozen seafood section of your favorite supermarket, already available in ring form. You can also use fresh squid. If using fresh squid, clean it thoroughly and remove the skin and all the things inside it. Slice the squid crosswise with your desired thickness to create the rings.
Do you know how calamari in restaurants get their soft texture? Well, not all squids are soft, but there is a way to ensure that the squid that you will be enjoying will be soft the moment it reaches your mouth. My technique is to marinade the squid or squid rings in fresh milk for at least 3 hours (marinating overnight works best for me). The lactic acid found in milk reacts with the squid making it less tougher overtime. This is the reason why you see the squid swimming in milk in this cooking video. This technique will also work for Inihaw na Pusit (Grilled Squid), as long as you do not over cook your squid.
Here is a previous recipe that I posted, which is the Filipino version of calamari.
Try this Easy Calamari Recipe. Let me know what you think.
Easy Calamari Recipe
- 1 lb. calamari rings soaked in milk for 3 hours
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- Lemon wedges
- 2 cups cooking oil
- Cooking Procedure
- Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, and parsley flakes. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or a deep cooking pot.
- Drain the milk of the calamari. Dredge the calamari rings one-at-a-time on the flour mixture. Make sure that the calamari ring is completely coated with the mixture.
- Deep fry the coated calamari rings on hot oil for 2 minutes or until the calamari turns light brown.
- Strain the calamari from the wok or cooking pot using a skimmer or strainer. Let the excess oil drip.
- Transfer the fried calamari in a serving plate.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
- Share and enjoy!