Flavors of the Ocean: How to Fry Squid – Seaco Online
Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

You might like
Read more
Seaco-online.com completes revamp of our website to bring you a better seafood buying experience!

Flavors of the Ocean: How to Fry Squid

Fried squid, also known as fried calamari, is a popular appetizer that is enjoyed all over the world. If you're a seafood lover, you've probably tried it at least once. But have you ever wondered how to make it at home? In this article, we'll show you how to fry squid using a few simple techniques and tips.

Squid sizzling in hot oil, turning golden brown. Steam rising, a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon

Before we get started, it's important to note that squid can be a bit tricky to cook. If not done properly, it can turn out tough and rubbery.

But don't worry, we'll guide you through the process step by step. From preparing the squid to frying it to perfection, you'll learn everything you need to know to make delicious fried calamari at home.

Key Takeaways

  • Preparing the squid is an important step that can affect the texture and flavour of the final dish.
  • There are several frying techniques and tips you can use to ensure your fried squid turns out crispy and delicious.
  • Common questions about frying squid, such as how long to cook it and what to serve it with, will be answered in this article.

Preparing the Squid

Squid being cleaned, sliced, and coated in batter before frying

Before frying your squid, it is important to prepare it properly. This involves selecting fresh squid, cleaning it, and cutting it into the desired shape. Here's how to do it:

Selecting Fresh Squid

When selecting fresh squid, look for specimens with bright, clear eyes and firm, unblemished flesh. Avoid squid that has a fishy smell or appears slimy or discoloured.

Cleaning and Cutting

To clean your squid, remove the head and tentacles from the body. Pull the head away from the tentacles, taking care not to damage the ink sac. Discard the head and set the tentacles aside.

Next, remove the skin from the squid tubes by pulling it away with your fingers. Rinse the tubes and tentacles under cold running water to remove any remaining debris.

To cut the squid into rings, slice the tubes crosswise into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces. To cut the tentacles into smaller pieces, simply chop them into bite-sized chunks.

Once your squid is cleaned and cut, it is ready to be fried.

Frying Techniques and Tips

Squid sizzling in hot oil, turning golden brown. Steam rising, bubbles popping. A chef's spatula flipping and draining excess oil

Batter and Coating

The batter and coating are crucial elements in achieving the perfect crispy fried calamari. A good coating should be light and crispy, not heavy and greasy. To achieve this, use a mixture of all-purpose flour and cornstarch, seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika. For a gluten-free option, use rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. Dip the calamari rings in a mixture of buttermilk and lemon juice before coating them in the flour mixture. This will help the coating to stick to the squid and provide a tangy flavour.

Frying and Temperature Control

When deep frying calamari, it is important to maintain a consistent temperature of 180°C. Use a deep fryer or a Dutch oven filled with oil, such as canola, peanut, or sunflower oil. Do not overcrowd the fryer with too many calamari rings at once, as this will cause the temperature to drop and result in a soggy coating. Fry the calamari in batches, turning them occasionally, until they are golden brown and crispy. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the calamari from the hot oil and place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Serving and Accompaniments

Serve the crispy fried calamari immediately, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dipping sauce such as tartar sauce, lemon aioli, or marinara sauce. You can also sprinkle some chopped oregano or parsley on top for a savoury flavour. Calamari is a great appetizer for any occasion, and pairs well with a cold beer or a glass of white wine. Leftover fried calamari can be reheated in an air fryer or oven to regain its crispy texture.

Remember to tenderize your calamari rings by soaking them in salted milk for 30 minutes before coating them. This will help to remove any fishy taste and tenderize the squid. You can also marinate the calamari rings in garlic, onion, or mushrooms for added flavour.

When deep frying, use a thermometer such as a Thermapen to ensure that the oil temperature is consistent. A professional nutritionist can provide a nutritional analysis of your fried calamari recipe to help you make healthier choices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sizzling squid in a hot frying pan, steam rising, with a spatula flipping the pieces. Oil bubbles and splatters

What's the best way to marinate calamari before frying?

Marinating calamari before frying can add extra flavour to the dish. A simple marinade of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt can do wonders. You can also try adding some paprika, chilli flakes, or other spices to the marinade for an extra kick. Marinate the calamari for at least 30 minutes before frying.

Can you share a classic Italian fried calamari recipe?

Sure, here's a classic Italian fried calamari recipe you can try:


  • 500g fresh calamari rings
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Dredge the calamari rings in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  4. Fry the calamari rings in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Remove the calamari rings from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess oil.
  6. Serve the fried calamari rings with lemon wedges.

How do you properly cook frozen calamari rings?

When cooking frozen calamari rings, it's important to thaw them first. You can thaw them by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or by running them under cold water for a few minutes. Once thawed, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Then, follow the instructions for frying fresh calamari rings.

What's the trick to pan-frying squid rings to perfection?

The trick to pan-frying squid rings to perfection is to make sure your pan is hot enough before adding the squid. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the squid rings and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the squid to steam instead of fry.

How long should you typically fry squid for?

The cooking time for fried squid can vary depending on the size of the pieces and the heat of the oil. As a general rule, you should fry squid for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. Be careful not to overcook the squid, as this can make it tough and rubbery.