Fried Calamari Recipe

This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection. Best of all, they are the perfect appetizer for any gathering or dinner party.

I’ve always loved getting calamari as an appetizer, but sometimes it’s a bit chewy and difficult to eat. A friend served this at our weekly girl’s get together and it was perfect, delicious and tender.
This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.
Fried Calamari Recipe - Crunchy in the outside, tender in the inside

From the taste and texture, I presumed she either found a special type of calamari to serve, bought something pre-made and just reheated or found a special time-consuming recipe to make it so good.

It was none of those things. In fact, it was so easy, she was almost reluctant to tell me her secret. She simply marinated the calamari in buttermilk and fried them in seasoned flour to make them not just tender but also delicious.

This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.
Fried Calamari recipe

Not only was the fried calamari excellent, but she also served it with a lemony aioli sauce and a side of fresh cut lemon that was divine. I’ve always dipped in tartar sauce or marinara sauce, but this sauce was light and added to the experience.

I managed to get the recipe from her for the sauce too. Wow, both are so easy that I’m now serving these every chance I get. We had an end of summer party where everyone brought a dish.

Some of my friends asked that I have these on the menu, so I asked Jennifer if she was going to bring them or should I.

This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.
Crispy yet tender fried calamari recipe

Since she was kind enough to give me this scrumptious recipe, I let her be the heroine and bring them, but we floured and fried them right at the party, setting up a little serving area.

I provided a fresh lemon and she had already prepared the lemony aioli. I had a small fry baby cooker she used and Jennifer’s station was the hit of the party.

The trick when frying was to prevent overcrowding in the fryer and only prepare a small amount at a time.

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This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.
Crispy Fried Calamari with Aioli

The Marinade:

I learned or read online that soaking the squid in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes or for an hour before cooking will tenderized it.

I tried it and found that it works: my calamari still has a bite, but they’re less chewy.

Why Buttermilk Instead of Eggs? The acidity in the buttermilk helps keep the calamari tender and helps create a lighter, crispier batter.

This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.
Squid Calamari

The Batter:

The batter makes a big difference when cooking calamari aside from the texture of course. They range from simple to the slightly more complicated.

I prefer my calamari to be lighter in coating.  So, after a bit of experiment, I concluded that actually, the cornflour is what makes the difference here. The result is a crispy coating that won’t fall off during frying.

The Flavor:

Adding paprika imparts a richer brown color and when it comes to crispy fried calamari, less is more.

Using cornflour with the good old fashioned flour and seasoning mix, this trick works every single time!

Try sprinkling the squid rings with extra salt flakes fresh out of the pan, adds extra crunch.

Tips for Perfect, Crispy Calamari:

1. Don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking these squid rings to attain vital crisp results. Overcrowding tends the pieces to release water and they’ll steam rather than fry. Deep-frying in batches without over-crowding will help maintain oil temperature.

2. Use a good quality calamari to start with when preparing this dish. To actually taste it, I noticed that slightly thicker (with about 1 cm rings), there’s more Calamari to get your teeth into.

3. For the coating, use cornflour and bread flour instead of regular flour to get that vital crunch results. While the flour seasoning is a matter of preference, adding fresh herbs like paprika and garlic powder (or oregano) will absolutely lift the flavors.

4.  Always use a clean oil and the perfect temperature to cook is 170°C (340°F) heat when frying. Check your oil by sprinkling a pinch of flour into a hot oil, if it bubbles, then it’s ready.

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This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.

Fried Calamari Recipe

3.64 from 177 votes
Print Pin Rate
Marinating the squid in buttermilk defeats the rubber band effect some fried calamari tends to have. These crispy fried calamari are the perfect appetizer for any gathering or dinner party.
Servings: 4
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes

Ingredients:

Calamari:

  • 1 lb calamari bodies sliced into 1/2 inch rings, tentacles left whole
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Flour Seasoning:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup cornflour
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes optional

Garnish:

  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • lemon wedges to serve

Lemon aioli:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • dash of Tabasco
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Prep the Aioli and the Squid:

  • Prepare lemon aioli by whisking together mayonnaise & the lemon Aioli ingredients.
  • Clean and prepare the calamari and soak in buttermilk for 30 minutes or better for at least an hour.
    This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.

Prep the Flour Seasoning:

  • Combine flour & cornflour with flour seasonings (like paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne powder and red chili flakes).
  • Once you've finished soaking, dredge the calamari in seasoned flour, tossing evenly to coat.

Cooking the Calamari:

  • Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees F.
  • Carefully drop a handful of the calamari into the hot oil.
  • Cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to a paper lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining calamari.
  • Sprinkle parsley on top. Serve with lemon wedges and lemon aioli.
    This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.

Notes

1.) Why buttermilk instead of eggs? The acidity in the buttermilk helps keep the calamari tender and helps create a lighter, crispier batter. So, adding eggs or breadcrumbs is not necessary.

 
Nutrition Facts
Fried Calamari Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 282mg94%
Sodium 1436mg62%
Potassium 485mg14%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 1035IU21%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 144mg14%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @theforkbitedotcom or tag #theforkbitedotcom!
Appetizer
Asian, Mediterranean
Keywords: best fried calamari, best fried calamari recipe, crispy fried calamari recipe, fried calamari, fried calamari recipe, how to fry calamari, how to fry calimari, how to make fried calamari

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Fried Calamari Recipe
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This is the best Fried Calamari Recipe ever, they are tender in the inside and crispy fried to golden brown perfection.

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55 thoughts on “Fried Calamari Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Love the tip to use buttermilk instead of eggs or breadcrumbs!! These turn out to be the perfect little bites!

  2. My husband always orders this when we are out, so I am going to have to try making some at home.

  3. Fried calamari is my fave! This looks like a super easy recipe to make at home, thanks for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    These are so good, and thanks for that buttermilk tip, I would never have thought about it. And they were gone in a heart beat too. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    So that’s how you get calamari to be tender! Buttermilk! I’ve not had luck with making tender calamari before trying this. Thanks!

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  7. Denise Oliver

    A delicious recipe!! I love how tender the calamari rings turned out to be.. They are so yummy, yet so simple to and easy to make at home.

  8. My kids love them as well as my husband. Totally perfection, not too spicy.

  9. Eloise Morrison

    Uggh… I messed the first batch of my calamari rings 🙁 but after the second try, they were perfect. I tweaked and added some cayenne and spice herbs.. tasted delicious. This will be our regular appetizer on Friday night.

  10. Crispy, tender, mouth-watering calamari bites.. No calamari fan should miss this one.

  11. This is my first time to re-create this calamari at home and it turned out so delicious and super tender inside.

  12. Susana Roesler

    i love this recipe, the only change I made was to dredge the calamari in cajun spice coating and some salt. Serve with spicy mayo for dipping.

  13. Ophelia W. Donoho

    I’m obsessed with these appetizers..never thought making these at home could be so easy. I will use the buttermilk trick.. thank you for sharing!!

  14. These are so crispy ring of squids..I love it!! However, I would like to add more cayenne pepper next time and add sriracha to the buttermilk – its’ only me 🙂 because I love strong flavors and spice. Overall, big thumbs up 🙂 Thank you.

  15. This recipe will be going into regular rotation…. these are so delicious, crispy yet tender ring bites.. Cant go wrong with the extra crispiness. 🙂

  16. I love calamari and always order these appetizers in the restaurant, but puzzled why 10 rings of calamari cost $$!! So, I thought, recreating them at home would save me dineros… The result? your recipe is the best calamari I ever tasted.. they are so crispy and tender. I tried frying them though instead of baking. YUMMY!!

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  18. Jessica Wertz

    You cant go wrong with this recipe. Simply marinate, coat in seasoned flour and deep-fry and presto, you’ll get a tender, juicy & crispier calamari.. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Jennifer Francis

    I love this calamari recipe, so juicy and tender due to marinating them overnight.

  20. This is so delicious. I marinated a little longer and it was so tender, I did finished the whole plate 🙂

  21. I just made this calamari as described and I deep-fried a little longer which gave the crispiness to the flour coating but tender in the inside. Yummy!!

  22. @Brittany,
    Yes, you can marinate the calamari rings in buttermilk overnight.

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  24. @Jesicca,
    Grapeseed oil for a high heat saute.
    Canola oil for frying or deep-frying.

  25. Tried this tonight. The sauce was delicious! However some batter was struggling to stay on the squid. What am I doing wrong!?

  26. This sounds amazing and I know so many people who would eat this up in a heartbeat. So I will pass this recipe on to them.

  27. Calamari is my favorite! I’ve always avoided making it at home, because I know how easy it is to overcook it. This looks so simple, though! I am going to pin this to try it soon!

  28. The minute I saw the recipe I pinned it before reading your post. When I see calamari I think of my mamma making them for my papà — it was one of his favorites. The only thing that’s a challenge is finding of fresh calamari. My mouth is watering just looking at the seafood. BTW– we use buttermilk a lot for marinating purposes. It’s excellent.

  29. Fried makes everything delicious and I absolutely love the mixture you have used for coating the calamari. I am vegetarian, but I can definitely use the exact same ingredients to fry up some zucchini or cauliflower. Love the lemon aioli as the dipping sauce.

  30. I always skeptical of cooking calamari thinking that it will become chewy. But your recipe sounds delicious and easily doable. I am going to try it. Let me see I can get hold of fresh squid. These are ultimate party dishes love those lemony avioli dip . yum

  31. I’ve never been a huge fan of calamari, but I think I would really like this recipe. They look so yummy! Saving for later!

  32. I haven’t heard about calamari, but I would definitely taste it if I ever made this from your recipe

  33. My absolute comfort food is deep fried calamari with tartar sauce. I would give anything to have that now… Unfortunately I don’t get them here… This is so going to make me hunt for some. This looks so good.

  34. I loveeeeee calamari! Seafood restaurants for me aren’t complete w/o this. And oh, the photos make it more appetizing!

  35. What a great recipe for a party! I bet there were queues of people lining up to try this. Freshly made anything is always a hit – but then you went with the lemon aioli, and knocked it out of the park!

  36. What beautiful food photography! I have a friend who make the best Fried Calamari. Her tip for making sure the flour doesn’t come off of the squid while it’s frying? It should be quite dry when you’re dredging it. You can spread them out on a paper towel (similar to patting chicken dry) or do what she did, which is to just give each handful of squid a thorough squeeze before dredging to get rid of excess water. x

  37. Yum! I order for appetizer when I go have dinner at restaurant. I never made it home. I’m going to bookmark this post and try it home for myself! Thanks for inspiration 🙂

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About me:

abt me 150x150 Hi there, my name is Calleigh. Glad you’re here, you will find recipes that are easy to make and taste fantastic. You’ll also find some of my personal favorite foods, ones I’ve eaten in restaurants. Thank you for stopping by.

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