Oh my love affair with fried calamari. I know it is pretty much the ‘kid’s option’ of seafood choices and yes, I know it can sometimes be better off enjoyed sans frying. But honestly, truth be told, I’m a sucker for this deep fried appetizer.
That being said (confessed), I’ve always been on the hunt for a great at-home recipe. Fast forward years of too heavy, too chewy, not-enough-breading outcomes from my trusty fryer- I have found a winner.
Yup, hands down and forks full, this recipe below will blow your socks off. It all comes down to one ingredient that I have been missing all the while. Baking powder! It undoubtedly makes the coating crispy and light, yet pronounced enough to adequately coat each calamari piece. With a quick fry, sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon, and a side of marinara - you are in a calamari oasis.
Enjoy my friends.....
Serves- 4 as an appetizer
Slightly adapted from - Cooks Illustrated
1/2 C milk
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 lb squid, bodies sliced crosswise 3/4 in thick, extra long tentacles trimmed to match length of shorter ones
2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
Marinara sauce, optional for accompaniment
Set a wire rack on top of baking sheet to place calamari after frying
Heat deep fryer with oil in it to 350 degrees F.
Whisk milk and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine flour, baking powder, and pepper in a second medium bowl.
Add squid to milk mixture and toss to coat.
Using your hands, take half of squid, drip off excess milk and dredge in flour mixture. Toss around well and coat evenly.
Place in fryer and fry for about 3 minutes- golden brown in color.
Place on wire rack, salt immediately with a touch of Kosher salt.
Repeat with remaining squid- drip off excess, dredge, fry and salt.
Serve with squeezed lemon and marinara sauce for dipping.