Deep-fried kalamari

Deep-fried kalamari

By
From
A la Grecque
Serves
6
Photographer
Mark Roper

When buying kalamari, make sure that you’re actually getting kalamari and not arrow squid. On kalamari, the side wings extend the whole length along either side of the body. On arrow squid, the wings are just little triangles at the bottom tip of the body that form a dart shape.

Always choose kalamari that are a whitish-grey colour, speckled with a little black ink. They should not be pink. Kalamari should always smell clean, not fishy or of ammonia. When cleaning and preparing kalamari take care with the ink sac as it is quite delicate and it may burst and squirt ink all over you. Don’t worry if some ink gets on the kalamari as it is quite tasty. In fact some recipes for braising even require the ink to be added.

To clean kalamari, first pull the head and tentacles away from the body and set them aside. Insert your fingers into the body cavity and pull out the guts and the thin, transparent cartilage, which looks like a piece of plastic. Now slide your fingertips under the blackish membrane that covers the body and peel it away. Rinse the body inside and out then pat it dry. Cut into strips or into 1.5 cm rings.

Pinch your thumb and forefinger nails in between the eyes and the tentacles and separate them. Alternatively, use a knife to cut the tentacles away from the head. Use your thumbs to pop the beak out from the centre of the tentacles. Discard the beak, head and ink sac and keep the tentacles. Rinse and pat dry then cut them into 7 cm lengths.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 medium kalamari
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
corn oil or sunflower oil, for frying
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Method

  1. Clean and prepare the kalamari. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Dip the kalamari pieces into the seasoned flour, shaking off excess.
  2. Pour the oil into a heavy-based saucepan to a depth of about 2 cm. Heat until smoking, which is about 220ºC if you have a thermometer. Carefully drop the kalamari into the oil, a few pieces at a time. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the temperature will drop and you will not achieve a crisp, golden crust. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and sprinkle on a little dried oregano. Serve with green salad and aïoli or tzatziki.
Tags:
Greek
Greece
European
Mediterranean
SBS
Grecque
Grecque
Pam
Talimanidis
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