When you’re celebrating, nothing beats crispy deep-fried calamari starters. Crunchy calamari is quick and easy to prepare at home, and the perfect salty accompaniment to fizzy champagne. It doesn’t matter whether fresh or frozen squid is used to prepare this dish, as the secret really is all in the cooking!
‘Calamari’ is the common name given to squid dishes in several cuisines. Mediterranean, English, Asian, and Middle Eastern chefs all offer traditional calamari starters in restaurants around the world. The main differences between them tend to be in the sauces served with deep-fried calamari. Tartare is most common in European restaurants, and salt and lemon often accompany deep-fried calamari in Mediterreanean cuisine. In the US, tomato-based or marinara sauces are more common.
There are about 12 types of squid in the world that are used to make calamari, and they all look a little like cuttlefish or octopus. They can range from just one inch in length to over 80 feet! The perfect deep-fried calamari should be fried in the hottest oil for just a couple of minutes, and be light gold in colour. Overcooking calamari is the main reason for the sometimes rubbery texture that puts off some diners. If you’re ever served dark brown calamari in a restaurant, it’s a good idea to send it back to the chef.
How it’s made
Squid is similar to octopus in some ways, as it can release dark ink when cooked. This ink is often used for tasty, colourful sauces. Deep frying calamari is one of the best cooking methods as it is quick and ensures the tastiest meat.
Serve your deep-fried calamari with tartare sauce and plenty of bubbly to keep guests content at any event.
What meat is used?
Although the tentacles of larger squid can be used for this dish, the ideal size for culinary squid is around 12 inches. Squid meat is white in colour and should be quite firm. The typical way to prepare deep-fried calamari is to dip the meat into milk, lightly coat it in flour and then fry it in very hot oil. This golden, crispy delicacy is absolutely delicious and an ideal starter for celebratory dinner parties.