Calamari, simply speaking, is just a fancier name for Fried Squid Rings. Known as Calamares in the Philippines, this has been a familiar sight in restaurants as an appetizer and also as a known street food. There has actually been a boom in calamari a few years back as you have street food peddlers actually just selling calamares instead of their usual fare. This easy-to-follow Calamares recipe is sure to help you in whipping this wonderful dish up.
You would need squid rings for this Calamares recipe. You could either use pre-cut squid rings in the market or buy entire squids and just cut it up into rings. If you cut the squid into rings yourself though, be sure that you are able to wash off all of its ink and cut off all the unnecessary parts. To make the squid rings soft even after frying it, you can put the squid rings into a large bowl and pour buttermilk into it. If buttermilk is not readily available, you can substitute it with either just plain yogurt alone or regular evaporated milk with squeezed lemon juice. After pouring buttermilk or its substitute on the squid rings, refrigerate it for 30 minutes to an hour.
Calamares Recipe Preparation and Tips
- While the squid rings are in the refrigerator, you can already prepare the flour mixture that you will use for the calamari.
- On a separate bowl, pour in flour, salt and pepper, paprika (if you want it to have more kick, but this one is optional) and garlic powder and mix it together. Then once the squid rings are already chilled, dunk this rings onto the flour mixture, making sure that all rings are evenly and generously covered with it.
- Heat the pan, add oil and drop the calamari rings onto it, doing it in batches in case your pan will not allow everything to be fried at once.
- Strain the fried calamari and put on a large plate. As for the last part of this calamari recipe, in making the dip, you can either choose from 1) store-bought ranch, caesar or ketchup dips , 2) you could go local and just make a mixture of vinegar, salt, pepper and chopped red onions or 3) another mixture of the same ingredients only with added soy sauce.
- Frozen Calamari/Squid Rings - 1 large bag
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- vegetable oil for frying
- Defrost ½ the bag of frozen squid/calamari rings in cold water.
- Before squid is completely defrosted, remove from water and strain well in colander.
- Gather 4 separate small bowls (like cereal bowls).
- Place strained calamari rings in bowl the 1st bowl.
- In 2nd bowl mix together the flour, salt and pepper.
- In the 3rd bowl beat 3 eggs with the milk.
- Place Panko crumbs in the 4th bowl.
- Dip on squid ring into the seasoned flour, coating well, then into the egg wash, coating well, then lastly, drop it into the panko crumbs. Use your other hand to coat the ring thoroughly with panko.
- Set aside on a plate, and repeat the process with all the calamari rings.
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy saucepan to 350 degrees.
- Drop a few rings at a time into the hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown (approximately one minute or less).
- Remove with metal strainer utensil onto a paper towel lined plate.
- Immediately sprinkle with salt.
- Serve with lemon wedges and marinara dipping sauce if desired.