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Spicy Crispy Fried Calamares

This crunchy Calamares packs some heat. Serve them as appetizers or even as mains. Also perfect for pairing with your favorite booze. Surely a crowd-pleaser that can be cooked in no time at all!

Spicy Calamari with three dips

Cooking squid to perfection can be quite a feat. It can easily turn tough, dry and rubbery. But this is no longer our worries as my good friend, Lalaine of Kawaling Pinoy, told me of a secret on how to keep squids tender, even when you “accidentally” overcook them.

What is Calamares?

Calamares is the Filipino version of deep-fried battered squid rings more commonly known elsewhere as Calamari.
Calamari is the Italian word for squid which is what the dish is generally made out from. Normally, it is just the squid’s body, cut across into rings, and the tentacles battered and deep-fried for a crunchy, golden finish.

In the Philippines, Calamares can be enjoyed as a main dish. Usually served alongside rice with spicy vinegar as a dip. It is also a well-loved ‘pulutan’ or what you call beer food. The term nowadays is ‘boozeepetizers’ I believe.

Calamares dipped in vinegar

The secret to perfectly tender Calamari

The secret to keeping those squid tender when cooking Calamari is to not overcook it. You have to either cook it really quickly over high heat or slowly over low heat. If overcooked, it will surely turn out tough and rubbery.

Or will it?

As I said, Lalaine told me her secret for keeping her squid tender. That is soaking them first in milk for at least half an hour to four hours. I read that it can also be done overnight. This may be old news to some but I would have not known about it until she mentioned it to me.

We put it to the test and we were happy with the results. Even after we fried the Calamares the second time to reheat the leftovers, they remain tenderlicious!

By the way, I used a pack of frozen squid rings for this recipe but you are welcome to use fresh ones. I would recommend it even as they are a lot tastier.

You can read Lalaine’s post here including tips and instruction on how to cut and clean fresh squid.

How to make Spicy Calamares?

Ingredients for Calamares

 

What you need to make this Spicy Crunchy Calamares:

  • 500 grams of frozen squid rings, thawed, washed and drained
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lemon or 4-5 calamansi
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder (optional)
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • oil for deep frying

 

How to cook crispy Calamares:

  1. Soak squid rings in milk for at least an hour. Like I said, soaking in milk will make the squid tender.
  2. Add lemon juice to the milk with the squid. The lemon juice will serve as a coagulating agent that will turn the milk to a thicker consistency. This is usually an alternative to using buttermilk.How to make Calamares
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients. You can adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. I used 1 teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of ground pepper. You can also adjust the spiciness as you like.How to make Calamari
  4. In a deep pan or wok, heat oil over medium heat. Oil should be high enough to cover a layer completely. Make sure that oil is hot before you start deep frying and also in between batches.
  5. Dredge pieces of squid with the flour mixture until fully coated. You can double coat with the milk then flour again for a thicker shell coating.How to make Calamares
  6. Deep fry coated squid rings in batches, making sure you do not over-crowd the pan. Fry for about 2-3 minutes each batch.
  7. Using a slotted spoon remove cooked calamari from oil and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. 

3 Easy Dip Recipes for Calamares

Calamari - battered squid rings fried to golden finish

Spiced Vinegar

  • 1/2 cup vinegar, (1/4 cup water -optional),
  • 1 small red onion chopped finely,
  • 1 teaspoon salt,
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper,
  • 1 Thai chili, chopped

Simply combine and mix all together in a bowl.

Chunky Marinara Sauce 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil.
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.

Saute garlic in oil until limp and aromatic. Add diced tomato, dried basil and oregano. Season with salt.

Garlic Mayonnaise Dip

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tablespoon milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • salt
  • a bunch of chives, chopped

Simply combine and mix all together in a bowl.

Calamares

Other Boozeepetizers (Pulutan) to try:

Kwek-Kwek fried quail eggs

Lechon Kawali – deep-fried cripsy pork belly

Filipino Barbeque – sweet-savory pork in skewers

Fried Buffalo Wings

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Calamares or Filipino vesion of fried Calamari

Spicy Crunchy Fried Calamari

This crunchy Calamares packs some heat. Serve them as appetizers or even as mains. Also perfect for pairing with your favorite booze. Surely a crowd-pleaser that can be cooked in no time at all!
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer,Main Course
Cuisine: American,Filipino
Keyword: calamares,fried calamari,spicy calamares
Servings: 4
Calories: 396kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
SoakingTime: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound frozen squid rings - thawed, washed and drained
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lemon or 4-5 calamansi
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder - optional
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • oil - for deep frying

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Soak squid rings in milk for at least an hour.
  • Add lemon juice to the milk with the squid. The lemon juice acts as a coagulant that will thicken the milk.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients.
  • In a deep pan or wok, heat oil over medium heat. Oil should be high enough to cover a layer completely.
  • Dredge a piece of squid with the flour mixture until fully coated.
  • Deep fry coated squid rings in batches, making sure you do not over-crowd the pan. Fry for about 2-3 minutes each batch.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove cooked calamari from oil and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
Nutrition Facts
Spicy Crunchy Fried Calamari
Amount Per Serving
Calories 396 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 297mg 99%
Sodium 86mg 4%
Potassium 503mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 62g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 25g 50%
Vitamin A 11.9%
Vitamin C 11.4%
Calcium 13.9%
Iron 14.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.
This crunchy Calamares packs some heat. Serve them as appetizers or even as mains. Also perfect for pairing with your favorite booze. Surely a crowd-pleaser that can be cooked in no time at all! | www.foxyfolksy.com #squid #seafood #calamari #boozeepetizer #pulutan #filipinofood

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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