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Wednesday 10 August 2011

Sluttishly Easy: Calamari

If you're thinking calamari tastes like rubber bands, then don't blame the poor squid: it's because it's been badly cooked. Squid is ruined by over-cooking, which makes it tough. The trick is to fry it for less than two minutes to get it crispy and light. Alternatively, cook it for ages in a curry so it breaks down and softens up. Don't be put off if you've had a miserable calamari starter somewhere - it is very quick and easy to do it properly at home.

Calamari - fried squid rings - is my absolutely favourite summertime dinner. Squid is surprisingly cheap: my local shop (the sort that sells everything and is always open) sells a huge frozen bag of it for £4. Take it out in the morning to let it thaw and it'll be ready for dinner. I just toss mine in flour before cooking but you could dip it in beaten egg for a crispier finish.

Calamari (serves 2)

You will need:
  • 250g squid
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Make it!
  1. Cut the squid into rings about 1-1.5cm thick.
  2. Pop the flour, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper into a sandwich bag. Throw in the squid and shake well to coat.Think about how little washing-up you'll have (woo!).
  3. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a frying pan. When it's hot enough, carefully fry the squid for one minute on each side.
  4. Drain on kitchen paper and serve while still hot.
If you're brave or have a deep-fryer, then deep fry your squid, but shallow frying works for me. It's best served simply with salt and lemon on a bed of lettuce, with aioli or mayonnaise for dipping. It has such a mild taste that you can pair it with strong flavours like chorizo, but it makes for a lovely light dinner on its own with a glass of crisp white wine.

Flickr image from jlastra's photostream


  1. Oh, this looks beautiful. *wanders off to find my nearest squid stockist, pronto*

  2. Beautiful + easy = an excellent dinner.

  3. SO CHEAP. My fishmonger sells it for 99 per 100g. That's enough for one greedy me!

  4. That IS cheap! Especially compared to ready-made stuff in the supermarkets.

  5. Have I ever mentioned my summer job in a fish factory where my primary task was to make the calamari rings didn't stick together ... for hours? No?
    These look delicious - the one's I dealt with not so much.

  6. I love love love love calamari - I've had a bag of it in my freezer for about 6 months. It's coming out and I'm having calamari rings for dinner tonight, YUM!!


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