Hello Everybody! I hope all are doing okay and living life with loved ones! Today I am gonna share my love for Squid, popularly known as Calamari. It’s not only my own love, my whole family adore Squid, specifically my son. Well before marriage, I was dead against squid or octopus or mussels and alike, but after my very first visit to Malaysia in the year 2010, I realised not liking or eating squid , was just a preconceived notion, a mental block filled with unknown false facts. In Langkawi, when I first tried the Golden fried Calamari, I fell in love instantly with the cute looking squids and till date the taste of that dish roams around inside of my mouth and my memory. Thus, when I get a handful of these squids from the Metro Cash and Carry from my city, Kolkata, I kept on trying various ways to perfect that recipe that I ate at Langkawi and finally last year I nailed it to the T. It was such a relief that I am capable enough to create the same dish at the comfort of my own home. So am gonna share that recipe here today.
Before starting off, I would like to mention that squid is a seafood which gets cooked in no time at all and if overlooked it tends to become rubbery and chewy. While cooking squid, you should keep an eye on the fact also, that it doesn’t remain under cook and raw too. Doesn’t it sound exasperating and way too tricky? Well all good things come with a price and hardship. Basically, when you are cooking whole squids or squid rings, you need to be very attentive towards the squid and the cooking. It takes a minute only for squids to get cooked perfectly to get that crunchy yet melt in mouth texture in these exquisite seafood.
I still remember my son Rik practically lived on squid in all forms in Koh Tao and Koh Phangan in Thailand. Fried Calamari, squid fried rice, squid fried noodles, squid soup….everything he used to eat everyday there was The Squid. When I cook Squid at home, I had to cook in large batches, as in no time and practically with the blink of an eye, the golden coloured delicacy just vanishes off the table thanks to my son, Rik. And the rest of the family members stare at the plate and at me with cravings fo squid. Thus the big batch!!! Anyways so let’s get back to our recipe today. Crisp Golden Calamari a Two Styles. Well two styles because there are two ways that I use usually to fry these. And trust me both tastes fabulous. So let’s begin with the ingredients first and followed by the procedure and then the glorious outcome.
Squid – Frozen or fresh as per availability. Here is the thing, for this recipe, you need squid rings medium sized. So either you buy the squid rings directly, which are readily available in many stores in frozen packets. These come all properly cleaned and cut. Whole squids are also available in frozen packets that too properly cleaned. Just that in this case,you need to cut them into rings. Squids are freshly available at many popular markets and am sure with some extra money and some time, the sellers woul clean and sliced them up too. So I usually make 60-70 squid rings in one batch.
Plain Flour – 2 cups
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp ( optional )
Salt and Black Pepper – For seasoning
White Oil – To deep fry (any oil, I have used canola here)
1. First defrost the squid rings, if using frozen stuff. Now squeeze the rings and drain out all the excess water from it. Marinade the squid rings with fish sauce, ginger garlic paste and some salt. If you do not have the fish sauce, you can use simple vinegar or some light soya sauce. Keep it in mind , that squids are sea creatures and fish sauce or soya sauce already has salt in them, so use a pinch or two amount of salt only while marinating the squid rings. To top it , there will be salt in the batter too. Let it rest for fifteen minutes at the max. You can skip this marination process too if in a hurry. Trust me that won’t make these taste yuck at all. I have many a times fried non marinated squids to perfection too. Anyway, now let’s make the batter. Here comes the two different ways or styles, that you can prepare the batter for two different textures using more or less same ingredients.
1. In a bowl, mix one cup of flour, one cup of cornflour, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of baking soda all together along with a teaspoon red chilli powder, crushed black pepper and salt as seasoning .
2. Now drizzle some white oil into the dry mixture along with the beaten egg. Now start mixing all together first and then add chilled water, if required to develop the batter and consistency of the same. The batter shouldn’t be runny or thick. It should maintain a medium consistency. This is crucial ,as am sure , you won’t like to eat a thick coated battered squid fry. So, with hand or whisk or fork or spoon, try to make the batter, neither too runny nor too thick.
3. Now heat a deep bottomed PAN to fry these batter dipped squid rings. Pour the required amount of oil needed for deep frying. Now keep the oil on high flame on the gas oven to heat it up at the max.
4. Dip the squid rings into the batter and drop them into the hot oil for deep frying. You need to fry them till one minute max. Cook them on high only and in no time you will see them give a crisp golden outer cover . In a minute, remove these golden fried squid rings from the pan and drain the excess oil , by placing them on kitchen towel or tissue paper or even newspaper.
5. Now once done , serve these with your favourite sauce and dips. Here I have served it up with simple red chilli sauce.
STYLE 2 :
1. In a flat plate, spread one cup each of both plain flour and cornflour, along with a teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of baking soda, a teaspoon red chilli powder and salt and crushed black pepper as per taste.
2. Now mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly with spoon or fingers. I prefer fingers to do this delicate job. It could be messy but well for a good outcome, we should work hard and dirty.
3. Now squeeze the excess moisture of the squids out and dust the squid rings with this dry mix properly. Spread these squid rings on the plate and coat them properly and dust out the excess mix from them. Keep this in mind , that the squid rings will be just coated lightly ad not intensel, else it will make the squids go soggy after frying. After dusting, you can put them on a steel rack or a colander and shake it properly to discard the dry flour mix.
4. Now drop these rings into the hot oil and fry them for a minute at the max and take them out on a paper towel to discard the excess oil from the fried rings.
5. Serve it hot with any dip or sauce.
P . S. Do not over cook these squid rings. It will become rubbery. You need to eat them hot else it might lose its crunch and crispiness.
For the dip, you can mix two tablespoons of mayonnaise with one tablespoon tomato sauce with a pinch of black pepper, some chilli flakes and mix all well. You can drizzle some olive oil on top of it too. You can improvise this dish accordingly. You an add crushed rosemary, parsley or even oregano and chopped coriander to give a fresh taste to it. Explore your taste buds, work it out what suits your mood and taste and innovate new dishes. Trust me it might be a bit hectic but it’s quite like inventing new stuff and the outcome gives you great satisfaction.
So those who are seafood lovers like me, do try it out and let me know how it went and whether you have incorporated your own style ad technique. Share and spread the word friends.
Share, like, follow and comment below if you have any thing to share. Check out my Facebook page for more Info.
Thanks and Regards