Salt and Pepper Calamari

This is the BEST calamari recipe. Salt and Pepper Calamari is crispy, tender and perfectly seasoned. It is so easy to make this restaurant favorite at home.

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 Salt and Pepper Calamari 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 the BEST calamari recipe. Salt and Pepper Calamari is crispy, tender and perfectly seasoned. It is so easy to make this restaurant favorite at home.

Salt and Pepper Calamari 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.

To cap off our “Takeout at home” meal, I serve this with crispy pork wontons , blistered shishito peppers and sesame pork stir fry. Who needs delivery when you can just make it all at home?

Salt and Pepper Calamari Recipe

Serves 2 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 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



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


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


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


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.


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

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Sounds good can the flour be replaced by cous cous and done in the oven as I am a member of slimming world if so is the cous cous used dry or made up with stock?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Vicky, I am not sure about using couscous. I have never substituted couscous for flour before. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    I just made it. So delicious the twins love it, I told them there were chicken nuggets

    • Reply
      April 11, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      Yay! I am so happy to hear that! My kiddos love it too :)

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 1:59 am

    My family absolutely loved this recipe thanks

    • Reply
      March 30, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      You are so welcome, Fiona!

  • Reply
    Victoria Raw
    November 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

    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.

    • Reply
      November 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

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

  • Reply
    Lea@ flowering tea
    May 3, 2011 at 12:35 am

    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.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

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

  • Reply
    yas ellis
    January 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Yummo this is a great easy recipe Thanks Yas

  • Reply
    January 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

    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.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

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

  • Reply
    January 14, 2010 at 10:46 am

    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.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2010 at 6:36 am

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

  • Reply
    January 14, 2010 at 12:06 am

    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 :)

  • Reply
    small home
    January 14, 2010 at 12:01 am

    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!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

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

  • Reply
    January 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm

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

  • Reply
    Susan Marie
    January 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Think it would work with shrimp, too?

  • Reply
    Fun and Fearless in Beantown
    January 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

    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?

  • Reply
    January 13, 2010 at 10:46 am

    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!