Tested till perfect Crispy Calamari
Crispy Calamari
Photography by Jodi Pudge

Crispy Calamari

The best calamari are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This requires a thin coating of the flour mixture and then quick-frying in oil at the proper temperature. Enoy it as is, with a squeeze of lemon or with Basil Aïoli Dipping Sauce.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: September 2008

Recipe4 out of 5 based on 17 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Portion size 6 servings


  • 675 g 675gfresh or thawed frozen squid
  • 8 cups 8cupscanola oil, safflower or other vegetable_oil
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupall purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cupcornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspcayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspsea salt or salt
  • 1 1lemonlemons, cut into wedges
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Holding squid tube, pull off head and tentacles; set aside. Rinse squid tubes under cold water, rubbing off purplish skin. Pull out and discard “pen” (clear long plastic-like skeleton) from centre of each tube. On cutting board, pull off and discard fins from tubes.

Cut off and discard eyes and head from tentacles, keeping tentacles attached on ring on top; squeeze hard beak from centre of tentacles and discard. Cut tubes crosswise into 1/2-inch (1 cm) wide rings; pat dry. Pour oil into wok or deep heavy-bottomed saucepan; heat until deep-fryer thermometer reads 375°F (190°C).

Meanwhile, in large plastic bag, shake together flour, cornstarch and cayenne pepper. All at once, add squid tentacles and rings to flour mixture; shake to coat. Transfer to sieve; lightly shake off excess flour mixture.

Working in batches, fry calamari until golden, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate; let drain. Sprinkle with salt just before serving with lemon wedges.

Basil Aïoli Dipping Sauce
In food processor, pulse together 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves; 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced; 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil; 2 tsp lemon juice; and 1 tsp anchovy paste until smooth. Blend in 1/2 cup mayonnaise. (Makes about 1/2 cup).

Tip from the Test Kitchen: No deep-fryer thermometer? If oil is hot enough, it should bubble vigorously after dropping in one piece of floured calamari, and calamari should turn golden in 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

Nutritional Information Per serving: about

cal 326 pro 19g total fat 20g sat. fat 2g
carb 17g fibre chol 265mg sodium 180mg

% RDI:

calcium 4 iron 9 vit C 1 folate 12
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