Monday, September 2, 2013

Homemade Restaurant Style Fried Calamari

I'm gonna teach you to get Restaurant quality Calamari in the comfort of your home!

Even from the time I was a kid I have always LOVED calamari.  It was my favorite thing to get when we would eat out at Italian places.  If it's done right, it is just oh, so good!

Hover over this image to pin it!

Last year I saw that in the freezer section at my grocery store they have frozen raw calamari, I was shocked!  You see, since we live in such a rural area, they don't carry some of the fancier or odder things because there just isn't a market for it.  Anyway, I decided to be bold and buy it and I took it home and cooked it up and holy smokes, it was so easy and sooooo good.  We went through it so fast it was ridiculous! Ever since then I have been wanting to make it again and do a post about it.

Well, I forgot about it.....

 I try to always add something new when we have leftovers, to make if feel a little less redundant.  So, Monday evening I was looking through the fridge and freezer trying to come up with something for to go with leftover spaghetti when I happened upon a package of frozen raw calamari and thought, YUP!  What a perfect combination!

"Harvest Of the Sea" net wt. 16 oz. 

So, Let's get started!
(This is WAY easier to pull off than you might think, and it is so worth the effort!)

Be sure to rinse your tubes and tentacles thoroughly! It gets the slimy feeling off and makes them smell and taste less fishy as well.
You may find some of these inside of your tubes, Go ahead and toss those suckers out.  And don't ask me what they are... because I don't know. but you shouldn't eat them.
Nip off the pointed tips of the tubes, then slice 1/2 inch sections crosswise to make rings.  You could half the tentacle sections to make them smaller, however I do not.  This is just a matter of preference.
All cut up and Ready to Fry!

My Frying Technique

I have found from trial and error some really good methods for pan frying just about anything.  
I ALWAYS fry at medium-low heat (My stove goes from HIGH (10) to LOW (1), I set it between 4 and 5, It takes a little longer for the oil to heat up, but it makes for less chance of burning and overcooking.  

Ordinarily you dredge the meat through the wet mixture (in this case an egg mixture) and then toss and cover them in the breading mixture then put them in the oil.  However, I have mastered the art of super awesome crispiness with my Double and Triple Dipping Method:

After you finish tossing in the breading you go back and dredge it through the egg mixture again, and then toss in the breading again. Do this as many times as you like.  the more times, the more breading and crispy goodness!  

(This can be a messy process, to cut down on messiness designate different hands for different jobs.  Like, I use my Right hand for wet stuff, left hand for dry stuff.  This also keeps the dry mixture from getting too grimy)

each of these tubes was the same size before dipping and frying!  Can you believe it!?

As with any kind of frying, it takes a while doing batch after batch after batch.  So, prepare yourself for that.  And be sure to place on a paper towel when they are done frying to drain off any extra oil.
By my cooking method in the recipe below you should NOT have tough or gummy calamari.  The breading will be crispy and crunchy and the inside will be a nice and gently chewy texture.
Perfect with spaghetti!


- -  R E C I P E  - -


1 Package Raw Frozen Calamari
3 Eggs
1 tsp Mayo
3 Tbsp Water
Oil (canola, vegetable, whatevs)
2 Cups all-purpose Flour
1 Cup Cornmeal Mix
3 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 tsp Mustard Powder
Salt & Pepper
Marinara sauce (for dipping)


  1. Defrost Calamari under cold water. Rinse all tubes and tentacles thoroughly.  
  2. Cut Calamari tubes in 1/2" increments crosswise.  You can cut tentacles in half, but I keep them whole.  Dry on a paper towel. 
  3. Fill a frying pan to about 1/2" height with oil. Turn on medium heat and allow oil to warm up.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients.  (I like to add tons of garlic salt, we are fiends for it around here, so you may adjust accordingly).
  5. Beat eggs with mayo and water until thoroughly combined.
  6. Dredge calamari through egg mixture then toss it in the dry mixture to coat completely.  Repeat this step as many times as you like for the desired crunchy-crispiness.  (Here is where you should consult My Frying Technique above!) 
  7. Place breaded calamari in the pan and turn when the underside becomes light golden brown, and allow other side to get golden brown as well, then remove and place on paper towels to drain remaining oil. 
  8. Try not to eat them as fast as you fry them!  Serve with Marinara Sauce.  (Believe it or not these are also really fantastic with my Perfect Avocado Ranch Dip too!)

Perhaps what was even MORE amazing was how into them the Kids were!  They LOVED these calamari!  They didn't even care about the tentacles, That thought it was so cool!  So proud of these little boogers!

adding a little corn meal to my breading mix makes for added crispiness without the graininess

This has always been one of those things I thought I could never recreate at home, But I went and proved myself wrong!  Same as when I decided I wanted Sushi at home too, but that a whole other post altogether!  You'll have to stay tuned for that one!
 ***wink wink***

Feel free to comment with any questions
Or let me know how you liked it!
Other than that ENJOY!

 photo newsignaturewashi_zps4b43fa62.jpg


Bethany Kline said...

Girl, you are TALENTED! It's so cute that you kids loved it so much. I've never been a big calamari fan, but Aaron IS! He orders it any time it's available. I'll have to surprise him with this one night. He would seriously be over the moon about it!

Bethany Kline said...

I like Aaron more and more all the time! lol! He's obvious a really smart guy between his love for IW's and now calamari too! Genius! ;-) Has he ever had the salt and pepper calamari at PF Changs?? That is probably the best I have ever had! You're such a good wife to want to make him something you don't even like! <3

Bethany Kline said...

Loved this post!! I adore calamari (and sepia, stuffed especially). Those kids are adorable. Visiting from Make it Pretty Monday. xo


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