I did a post sharing my Fried Calamari Recipe not too long ago, since then I’ve been wrestling with new ways to fry up my favorite seafood. Honestly, they don’t require more than a simple recipe, a little salt, and lemon juice – they’re just that good. But say we’re trying to gild the lily here? Well, then you could always batter them up in a wet beer dredging followed by a dry one and fry to crunchy golden perfection, I mean hypothetically of course!
Honestly, I loved my first recipe – it was simple, it was easy but I wondered if I could find a way to add a little more crunch and a touch more color. I figured the best way to do that would do a wet and a dry dredge. My main concern was whether or not the coating would end up soggy because of the oil, or if it would become too heavy – both turned out to be unfounded. I always use peanut oil when I’m frying which has a high smoke point and a neutral taste (it also has a few other positive traits that make it a better choice than lard or shortening) – and it didn’t soak into the crunchy exterior of the calamari. The coating itself fried perfectly in tandem with the calamari – rendering a crunchy outside and a tender calamari inside. Good stuff.
The beer did give it really good color too – the former calamari relied primarily on smoked paprika and frying for color. My first recipe is the lighter of the two, but I have to say I like them both equally. The trick to any calamari is not to overwhelm it with flavor, but rather to play up it’s natural texture and flavors with plenty of fresh lemon and lots of fresh chopped parsley – you can always serve it up with a side of red sauce or tartar sauce.
How do you serve your calamari! Let me know if you use this recipe and your experience/recommendations in the comments below!
- 1lb Calamari
- Peanut oil (for frying)
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Cup of Beer
- ½ Cup of all-purpose flour
- ½ Cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 Teaspoon of salt
- ½ Teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ Teaspoon of smoked paprika
- Mix together the beer and flour in a medium sized bowl.
- Mix together the dry dredge ingredients in a separate medium sized bowl.
- After your calamari has been cleaned and cut into ½ inch rings, dredge the calamari in the wet beer mixture first, followed by the dry flour mixture.
- In a small pan, heat your vegetable oil – you want the oil to be about 2.5-3 inches high in the pan. You can test the heat of your oil with a grain of rice or a small piece of calamari. The grain of rice/piece of calamari should go straight to the top of the oil and bubbles should collect around it.
- Fry your calamari in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Each batch should take two minutes each, as you don’t want to overcook your calamari (which leaves them rubbery and hard). The calamari should be light golden (not dark, like the heavier type found in restaurants).
- Set to cool on a paper towel. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley, and serve while still hot. You can also serve alongside your favorite marinara sauce, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce or garlic aioli.