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  • Bettina Applewhite

Easy Garlic Crispy Calamari

Calamari is fried squid and this is the best recipe that's really easy to follow. It's full of garlic flavor. Squid has been easier to find in some grocery stores lately. So if you see them there, give this recipe a try. You won't be disappointed.

I like quick cooking foods and calamari is one of them. It can take a little bit of practice and skill. If you overcook calamari, it can become really tough and rubbery. It's not appealing at all. Under-cook it and it's slimy. I find that flash frying the calamari gives the best results.

Sometimes I have gone to restaurants and ordered calamari that has too much breading or is very chewy. Sometimes the breading is falling off or it's just too thick. I've found that cornstarch works best for texture for fried calamari. I make mine with lots of garlic to make sure I have garlic flavor in every bite.

Flash frying happens when you get your canola oil super hot (like 400 degrees) and then quickly fry the calamari. It only takes 60 to 90 seconds or so once they become brown. Don't walk away from the fryer because you'll over cook them. Make sure you don't add too many pieces into the fryer at a time. This will bring down the temperature of the oil and cause your calamari to be soggy and greasy. Yuck!

Squid comes in 2 parts: body and tentacles. Bodies are the cylinder parts and can be cut into rings. I usually leave the tentacles whole. I cook the bodies and tentacles separately because the tentacles take a little longer to cook. They also move around and curl a lot too.

See the video below for step-by-step instructions.

Easy Garlic Crispy Calamari

Serves 2 as a meal or 6 as an appetizer


1 lb Calamari (bodies and tentacles)

3/4 Cup Cornstarch

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Pepper

Canola Oil for Frying


1. Separate the bodies and the tentacles. Slice the bodies into half inch rings. With a paper towel, pat dry to remove the excess moisture.

2. Heat a small pan filled half way with canola oil.

3. In a small bowl, add cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Combine until all the seasonings are evenly dispersed.

4. Working in batches, add in a few rings at a time. Make sure that they are coated with the cornstarch mixture. Test to see that your oil is hot enough by adding in one ring. If it immediately starts to sizzle, your oil is at the right temperature. If not, wait a few more minutes and test again.

5. Once oil is at the right temperature, add in coated rings and fry for only 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown. Don’t add in too many squid pieces at once, it will drop the temperature of your oil and you’ll have soggy calamari.

6. Once the calamari is golden brown remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Work in batches cooking the rings and the tentacles separately. The tentacles take a little longer to cook. Cook them 2 – 3 minutes until golden brown.

7. Sprinkle with fresh minced parsley. Serve immediately with warm marinara sauce or a garlic aoli. Enjoy!


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