Crispy Fried Calamari is a popular dish believed to have originated in Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy, where squid is a common ingredient in traditional seafood cuisine. The dish likely evolved as a way to use the whole squid, including the tentacles, which are often discarded or used as bait.
The preparation of Crispy Fried Calamari typically involves cleaning and slicing fresh squid into rings or strips, which are then coated in a seasoned flour or batter mixture and deep-fried until golden and crispy. The dish is often served with lemon wedges, marinara sauce, or aioli for dipping.
Crispy Fried Calamari gained popularity in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s when it began appearing on menus at Italian and seafood restaurants. Today, it is a staple appetizer on many restaurant menus and can also be found in frozen and pre-cooked forms in grocery stores.
Crispy Fried Calamari
- 1 lb fresh squid sliced into rings
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- vegetable oil for frying
- lemon wedges for serving
- marinara sauce for aioli for dipping
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
- In another bowl, pour the buttermilk.
- Dip each calamari ring into the buttermilk and coat it in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess and place the coated calamari rings on a plate or baking sheet.
- Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven until it reaches 375°F.
- In batches, fry the calamari rings until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried calamari to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
- Serve the fried calamari hot, with lemon wedges and your choice of dipping sauce.
With just a few uncomplicated ingredients and basic frying skills, you can create a delicious and impressive appetizer perfect for any occasion. In addition to sauces, Crispy Fried Calamari can also be served with eclectic sides, such as french fries, onion rings, coleslaw, or a simple green salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette. The dish also pairs well with a crisp white wine or light beer, which helps cut through the richness of the fried calamari.
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