Calamari Fritti

Better than restaurant Calamari Fritti rings lightly dusted and pan-fried to crispy golden perfection. Served alongside a Peri-Peri Yogurt Dip. Perfect for a big ole fish fry or at home appetizer!

Since I learned how to make Calamari Fritti I have become hard-pressed to find a restaurant version that lives up. Most of the time I find the batter is too thick, too grainy, too greasy. Or the calamari is overcooked. Good thing this recipe is so easy to make and costs a fraction of what you would pay at a restaurant.

My kids love calamari and this recipe is an all-time favourite in my house. I don’t make it too often because it is fried but when I do I make loads of it. It is almost like they are bottomless pits so I have to make a tonne.

Do you have a food that you seemingly can’t get full on? For me, it is Party Mix or Lay’s potato chips. Well for them it is this calamari fritti recipe aka fried calamari. Calamari Fritti Just the fancy Italian name.

Fresh vs Frozen Calamari

You can either purchase fresh or frozen calamari. While most of the time fresh seafood is always the best in the case of calamari I highly recommend frozen. Why? Because it is flash frozen and I find it to actually be much fresher than anything I can get at the grocery store in my area. Plus, there is no cleaning involved. Just the thaw the calamari out, drain and rise and you are ready to get started.

If you do prefer fresh calamari and have access to great seafood check out this page on how to properly clean calamari.

Ingredients you will need

  • 750 g of fresh or frozen calamari rings
  • Vegetable, Safflower or Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp seasoning salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Peri-Peri sauce (hot or mild)

How to make fried calamari

Now for those who have never tried calamari, you may be wondering what to expect and what the heck is calamari. Well, it is squid. Yup, you heard me. When I first found out what it was I was totally freaked out and wouldn’t eat the little tentacle pieces you get at restaurants if you paid me. Now they are actually my favourite part when I can find them.

Tips for making great Fried Calamari

  • Always buy flash-frozen calamari or if buying fresh it needs to be super fresh or it may taste fishy
  • Make sure to jiggle away any extra egg wash before tossing in the flour
  • Only toss a few calamari rings in the flour at a time and make sure the inside and outside of the ring are coated lightly
  • When adding the rings to the heated oil I like to use my fingers to hold them like earrings to make sure the rings are a full circle and not pinched together to ensure even cooking
  • When they look lightly golden get them out of the oil as fast as possible so you don’t risk overcooking. Overcooking will mean tough rubbery calamari
  • Work in small batches so you can get all the rings out of the oil quickly
  • Place the fried calamari on paper towels to drain the excess oil
  • Sprinkle with a little salt after they are removed from the oil to season

Is calamari a shellfish?

Even though calamari or squid do not have a hard shell a shellfish allergy very often includes staying away from Mollusks. Calamari/Squid and Octopus are part of the mollusk family. So if you have a shellfish allergy you should stay clear of calamari. See this article on Very Well Health for more info.

What does calamari taste like?

Fried Calamari has a very mild flavour and if fresh does not taste fishy at all. I would liken it to maybe a fresh sole fillet where there is almost no taste at all when fried. Grilled, calamari can take on a wonderfully smoky and nutty flavour.

What do you serve with calamari?

You can also serve as a main dish that would go great with the following side dishes

A blue plate filled with Calamari Fritti with some lemon wedges and a Peri-Peri dipping sauce

Calamari Fritti

Better than a restaurant Calamari Fritti rings lightly dusted and pan-fried to crispy golden perfection. Served alongside a Peri-Peri Yogurt Dip. Perfect for a big ole fish fry or at home appetizer!
4.7 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Appetizer Recipes, Calamari Fritti, Calamari Recipe, Fried Calamari, Fried Squid, Seafood Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 320kcal

Equipment

  • Large deep sauce pan
  • Large Bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Small Bowl
  • Spoon

Ingredients

Calamari

  • 35-50 fl oz. vegetable oil
  • 750 g calamari rings
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp seasoning salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Peri-Peri Yogurt Dip

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Peri-Peri sauce

Instructions

  • Fill a large deep saucepan till about 1" deep and preheat to 300-310F (medium heat)
  • In a large bowl add 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 tbsp seasoning salt. Mix well.
  • In a medium bowl add 2 egg, 1/2 cup milk and 1 tbsp lemon juice and beat to mix well.
  • Drop a handful of calamari rings into the egg wash. Remove and shake excess egg off and then toss in the flour mixture to coat evenly the inside and outside of the rings.
  • Gently add the calamari rings to the preheated oil in small batches and let cook for 1 minute. Flip with tongs and let cook another 60 to 90 seconds. They should be a lightly browned. Removed and let rest on paper towels to drain excess oil. Season with salt as desired.

Peri-Peri Yogurt Dip

  • In a small bowl add 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and 1 1/2 tsp of Peri-Peri sauce. Mix well and serve alongside the fried calamari for dipping.

Notes

Serve immediatey with lemon wedges and dipping sauce as desired.
Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container with a paper towl lining the bottom for up to 2 days.  Reheat quickly in the oven or microwave quickly just till warm.  Overcooking will result in tough and chewy calamari.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 10.4g | Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 892mg | Fiber: 1g
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Please Note:The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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14 Comments

    1. I actually think making it at home is so much better than any restaurant that charges an arm and a leg for such an inexpensive item.

  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe. My son has just decided that calamari is awesome. This recipe looks easy and has some great tips!

    1. My kids are huge fans of calamari. It is a great fish gateway because it has such a mild flavour.

  2. 5 stars
    My whole family loves calamari but we’ve never tried making it at home. WIth your helpful tips I think we can do this! Thanks so much!

  3. 5 stars
    I love calamari and usually order when I’m out, but I’m going to give your recipe a try! I love all your recipes, and know that this one will be a winner, too! Thanks for the tips – I love it already!

    1. 4 stars
      Just made this recipe tonight and it was delicious. Slight tweak – added Portugese Cicken seasoning to the flour to spice it up a little. The verdict from 17 year old son was that we’re definitely having this again.

      1. That sounds like a great addition for those who like things a little spicier. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    I love making fritti rings at home because I can make a big batch of it and enjoy all night long 🙂 Fantastic calamari fritti recipe!

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