Salt and Pepper Calamari

Salt and Pepper Calamari

If you, like me, are a fan of the crispy seafood appetizer known as calamari that can be found on many seafood and Italian restaurant menus, you just might find yourself in love with this version that is usually found on the menu at Asian restaurants. Its crispy, its tender, its perfectly seasoned and after a few tries I finally realized its not that hard to make at home.

This is one of those dishes that has alluded me for a quite some time. I’m not joking when I say that I used to tell Ryan I was making salt and pepper calamari and he would, without much enthusiasm, say “Oh. OK. Well, you’re making something else too right?” But after my first few, over peppered, chewy, soggy, down right disastrous attempts at it, I began to think the same thing. I was this close to giving up on trying to recreate this at home and instead limit my experience with salt and pepper calamari to delivery from the local Chinese place. However, after some thought, I figured it best to give myself one more shot at it, and lo and behold it turned out good. Actually, it turned out really good.

Salt and Pepper Calamari

Print Recipe
Serves 2 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • oil for frying
  • 1/4 pound calamari rings, thawed if frozen
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground back pepper

Instructions

1

Heat oil in a large pan or pot over medium high heat.

2

Place egg whites in one bowl, whisk slightly. In another bowl mix together cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper.

3

Dip calamari rings into egg, then place in cornstarch mixture and toss to coat. Shake any excess off.

4

Once oil reaches 375 degrees, begin frying calamari. You may need to do this in batches, be careful not to over crowd the pan or the calamari will stick together. Fry calamari for 2 minutes, do not over cook or it will become tough. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with a little more kosher salt, if desired. Serve.

Notes

Be sure to serve some Sweet Thai Chili Sauce on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

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  • Jenn

    I LOVE calamari! I’ve always been afraid to try making it at home, but you have now inspired me to give it another shot too!

  • Calamari is one of my favorite fried seafood dishes but I haven’t yet tried making it at home myself. What are your thoughts on adding a little panko to the cornstarch mixture?

  • Susan Marie

    Think it would work with shrimp, too?

  • I’m glad you decided to brave it out and give it another shot because they look delicious!

  • Ooh I love crispy calamari! These look awesome! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Thanks for your comments everyone! Fun and Fearless in Beantown- I actually thought about adding some panko to the mixture but for some strange reason I was out of it. I think it would be a great addition! Susan- I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with shrimp. I would just cook it a little bit longer maybe 3-4 minutes.

  • I never tried making this at home! I just buy it in local fast foods. Thanks for sharing! I can now have my own calamari rings at home!

  • these calamari rings look really crispy and that sauce looks wicked. I’ll try the recipe cos m craving squid this very moment :) thanks for sharing :)

  • fried calamari is always a killer… :) it looks super delish

  • One of the ugliest creatures in the ocean, I never could, and never will, bring myself to actually eat it.

    I tuned in because your photo reminded me of fried clams, a favorite dish of New England Americans.

  • Fried calamari is SO good. Looks like a great recipe, I’ll have to try it. I’ve never had the Asian version before!

  • Your calamari looks wonderful! Never tried the egg whites though. I learned the hard way, to cook it under 3 minutes or for hours otherwise it’s rubber! You see I prepare at least 10 lbs of calamari on Christmas Eve every year; some in marinara and some fried. I ruined a bunch of fried calamari and finally read up on frying it before I got it right!

  • olliebelle

    I am a Southerner transplanted to Alaska. Calamari is new to us but is plentiful in Alaska. I’m 64 years old and had my first calamari last year – very yummy I had no clue as how to cook it but after reading your comments and recipe I’m going to give it a try. I’m a first time visitor to your site but have already added you to my favorites list.

  • yas ellis

    Yummo this is a great easy recipe Thanks Yas

  • Ah. This looks so great and so easy too. I’ve been looking for something like this to work with! :D

  • I like your calamari recipe here. Adding corn starch and just using egg white makes it more crispy, right? No wonder when I cook calamari, it’s not crispy at all, I usually use just flour and the whole egg, :) Thanks for posting this recipe here, now I can make mine crispy as well.

  • Ooh this sounds good. Going to make it now! What’s the deal with using egg white instead of while egg tho, what difference does it make. Just wondering.

  • The whole egg makes the batter a little heavier. You want the batter really light so it lightly coats the calamari.

  • Aha, I see. Thanks!

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