Appetizers and Snacks/ Seafood

Calamari with Lemon-Basil Sauce

Calamari with Lemon-Basil Sauce

Oh Calamari how I love thee. Tender, crispy and crunchy you make my heart melt. When I first heard of Calamari I was working at a seafood restaurant and all of the other servers would eat it pretty often, but I would always shy away. Finally one day, on a dare, I tried some and thank god I did.  Now when ever Ryan and I dine out I usually have to order calamari as an appetizer, it is the perfect way to start a meal. For those of you that don’t know, it is squid and while that may not sound appetizing, when it is battered and fried it is delicious.  I recently bought calamari rings so I could give this a shot at home and it was surprisingly easy. For this recipe, I toss some calamari rings with seasoned flour and fry them until they are golden. While they are tasty on their own, I also served them with a Lemon-Basil dipping sauce.

Calamari with Lemon-Basil Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound calamari rings, thawed if frozen (If you buy it frozen it will usually be cut into rings for you, which is what I prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (you can also use fresh basil, it would be about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic.

Instructions

1

Pat the calamari rings dry with a paper towel.

2

In a bowl whisk together egg and milk to make an egg wash.

3

In a large plastic resealable bag combine flour, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and cornstarch and shake to combine.

4

Dip the calamari rings into the egg and then put them in the bag with the flour. Shake bag to lightly coat calamari.

5

In a large sauce pan add oil until you have about 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until oil is hot. (Note: I don't have a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil so when I think its hot I just sprinkle in a little flour and if it sizzles I start frying.) Once the oil is hot, remove the calamari from the bag and shake off any excess flour. Cook calamari in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes. It is very important not to overcook calamari or it will become rubbery. Remove from the oil, lay on a paper bag and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Serve hot.

6

To make the sauce combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, basil and garlic and mix well.

Notes

A Note: When I first tried to make calamari at home, mine did not get as golden brown as I would like because I was afraid of over cooking it so I cooked it only about 2 minutes at medium-high. I have found that if I cook it at a lower heat for a little longer, 3 minutes or so, it gets golden brown and is still tender on the inside. So there it is, calamari, perhaps my favorite appetizer ever. Give it a try if you haven't and I'm sure you'll like it. Hey it's fried, everything is good fried right? :) Enjoy!

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  • Val

    What a great recipe! I love calamari fried like this & your recipe sounds terrific. Thank you for sharing. ;o}

  • Thanks Val! You’re welcome! :-)

  • Chuck

    I bet that lemon Basil dip is perfect for this dish or any fish dish. Looks delicious!

  • Sam

    This looks pretty fantastic! I too love Calamari! We might make this tonight :)

  • Chuck: You know, I haven’t tried the dip with any other fish, but think that you’re right, it would probably be good with lots of fish. Thanks!

    Sam: Thanks! Hope you enjoy it! :)

  • instead of frying, could you bake them?

  • I have not tried to bake them before, but after I read your comment I did some research and it looks like you can bake them at a low oven temperature around 180 degrees for about 15 minutes.
    I might have to give this a try. I have had baked calamari once but I think the chef cooked it too long because it was pretty rubbery. Let me know if you try it this way, I’d like to know how it turns out. :)

  • OK, thanks!

  • I loooove calamari! Yum!

  • I am right there with you! Thanks gaga! :)

  • These look really Yummy!!! I love calamari.

    Will have to try these :-)

  • Thanks ThatsSoYummy! I hope you enjoy them!

  • Ashanti

    Love calamari about to try your recipe more let you know how it turns out

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