Appetizer, Seafood

Fried Calamari

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Fried calamari doesn’t have to be reserved for beach front restaurants. It’s easy to make at home and comes out extra crispy and crunchy. A squeeze of lemon juice and fresh marinara and you are ready to go! 

“Calamari” is simply the plural form of the Italian word for squid. In American cuisine, the term usually refers to the fried appetizer. Because squid can easily become tough when cooked, we let it marinate in buttermilk to help tenderize it. The quick fry will also help the cause! 

This is a favorite as an “ap” or tapa in many pubs, as it should be.  Try it, you will love it. 


Fried Calamari

Course: AppetizersCuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 lb. squid, cleaned and cut into 3/4" rings, any large tentacles cut in half

  • 1 c. buttermilk

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 c. cornstarch

  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

  • Marinara, for serving


  • Place squid in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk, stirring to make sure all pieces are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a large shallow bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and cayenne. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove squid from buttermilk, shaking off excess buttermilk and dredge in flour mixture.
  • In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add about 2” of oil. Heat to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. Working in batches, add squid to oil and cook until deeply golden, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon onto prepared baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with extra salt. Repeat with remaining squid, ensuring oil returns to 350° between each batch.
  • Serve immediately with lemon wedges and marinara.

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