Easy Fried Calamari Recipe

Crispy Fried Calamari

When it comes to preparing and eating squid, frying is definitely the way to go. Fried calamari is a delicious food often served as an appetizer in high end restaurants and pubs alike. These perfect little bites combine a crispy outer layer with tender meat inside, perfectly complemented by the marinara sauce for serving. While there are several ways to bread and fry the calamari, recipe creator Christina Musgrave prepares this recipe using buttermilk. "The buttermilk helps tenderize the calamari and neutralize the fish smell," Musgrave explains.

While fried calamari is sometimes a combination of tentacles and rings, this recipe calls only for serving the rings. These perfect little circles come from the body of the squid, so if anything, these fried calamari bites are somewhat reminiscent of mini onion rings! Good luck just enjoying one of these crispy little bites — with a recipe this tasty and easy to make, you'll be coming back for seconds (and thirds) of this fried calamari.

Gather your ingredients for fried calamari

The central ingredient here is squid, AKA calamari, and for this recipe, you'll want some frozen rings (but be sure to thaw them before you cook). The only other ingredients you need are buttermilk, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and vegetable oil. You may also want to have some marinara sauce on hand for dipping, as well as some fresh basil for serving.

Marinate the calamari in buttermilk

Combine the calamari and 1 cup of buttermilk in a medium-sized bowl. Cover the bowl of marinating calamari and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Combine ingredients for calamari coating

In a separate, large-sized bowl, combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder for the breading. Grab the calamari from the fridge once it's done soaking, and use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer it to the flour mixture in batches. Toss the calamari so each piece is well-coated. "You can fry immediately after coating in flour," Musgrave adds. "Work in batches so the coating is even and the flour bowl and pan aren't overcrowded."

Cook the calamari in batches

Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan until it's shimmering. "I recommend using a deep pot or really deep pan like a wok," Musgrave says. "You can use a fry pan or cast iron as long as it's deep." Cook the calamari in batches for 3 to 4 minutes for every batch, or until each piece is golden brown. Add more vegetable oil to the pot if it starts to dry out.

Serve your fried calamari

Remove the calamari from the pot, placing all batches onto a plate. Serve the crispy fried calamari with fresh basil and marinara sauce for dipping on the side. Musgrave adds that you can also serve this with sliced lemon, because what seafood is complete without a little squeeze of lemon?

Easy Fried Calamari Recipe
4.8 from 13 ratings
If you're looking for the perfect appetizer, it doesn't get much tastier than this easy fried calamari.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
finished fried calamari recipe
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces frozen calamari rings, thawed

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 
1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Optional Ingredients
  • marinara sauce, for serving
  • 
fresh basil, for serving
  • lemon wedges, for serving
Directions
  1. Combine the calamari and 1 cup of buttermilk in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder in a large bowl. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the calamari to the flour mixture in batches.
  3. Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large, shallow pan until shimmering. Cook the calamari in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Add more vegetable oil to the pot if needed.

  4. Remove the calamari from pot. Serve with fresh basil and marinara sauce on the side.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 286
Total Fat 17.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 111.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 2.0 g
Sodium 294.3 mg
Protein 11.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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