Fried squid rings - also called calamares or calamari - like most seafood dishes, are prepared in no time at all. Surprisingly, many people buy them as a convenience product with analog breading although preparing them fresh is very little work and produces way better results.
I personally like the Greek way of preparing fried squid best. Simple and delicious, especially freshly caught at the seaside. But most restaurants in Greece serve squid without any sauce, although they almost yell for some nice aioli or hot mayonnaise with lots of garlic.
The squids’ own flavor is very subtle and can easily be ruined with too much salt or seasoning. Frying them in breadcrumbs or dough also does not do them any good. I highly prefer the Greek variant with flour only for the crunchy haptic.
Serves four, prepares in 20 minutes.
Chili Garlic Mayonnaise
All products should have room temperature.
- 2 eggs
- Juice of one lime or half a lemon (about 50 ml)
- 1 hot red pepper
- 3 red hot chili peppers
- 2-4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1/2 tsp tomato paste
- 0 cherry tomatoes
- 50 ml olive oil
- 200 ml sunflower oil or similar
- 1000 g squid (3-4 animals)
- 200 g flour
- olive oil for frying
- kitchen role for drying
Chili Garlic Mayonnaise
Chop the pepper, chilies and the garlic into pieces
- Whisk two raw eggs in a high bowl, add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp tomato paste and the chopped vegetables.
Whip everything with a blender. Add the oil, at first in drops, and then gradually the rest continously whisking so that it forms a stable emulsion.
- Stir the juice of one lime (alternatively half a lemon) slowly into the mayonnaise, constantly tasting. You should also check the stiffness of the mayonnaise. Should it become to liquid or to sour, create a new mayonnaise from one more egg and more oil, and add it to the sauce.
- Pull the squids' tentacles with the innards out of the body.
- Cut off the innards, close to the masticatory organs. The masticatory organs sit where the tentacles are grown together. Push them out with your thumb.
- Squids have a transparent bone that looks a little bit like acrylic glass. It should be removed now. If you don't manage to remove it completely, you can also do that while cutting, although this is more work.
Cut the tubes of the squids into rings of 1-2 cm width. Cut the tentacles and the tail fins into bite-sized pieces.
Pour enough olive oil into a pan or pot so that it reaches a depth of 1 cm. Heat until a wooden spoon produces little bubbles. Toss the squid rings into the flour to coat and fry until crisp and pale golden. Using a skimmer, transfer the fried calamares to a kitchen roll lined plate to drain.
Many fishmongers have ready-made squid tubes for sale that only have to be cut into rings. I would always prefer the whole animals with tentacles. They not only look more attractive, they are also more delicious. You should pick animals that have a certain size so that the meat is thick enough.
The tomato paste in the chili mayonnaise does not contribute to the taste but only to the color. Feel free to omit it. By the way, the mayonnaise goes also very well for french fries, especially for sweet potato fries.
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