Crispy fried calamari, a seafood lovers dream, I prefer my squid rings breaded for extra crunch & they take mere minutes to cook to perfection.
If you buy prepared squid rings this delicious plate of crispy squid nibbles can be on your table in around 15 minutes. You can even cook them in an air fryer!
Perfect Crispy Squid Rings
But for me, I prefer my deep-fried calamari to be breaded.
This recipe came about by accident when I realised that I had no flour for the squid rings I had planned to cook and it just kinda stuck!
Cooking these perfect crispy nibbles takes no time at all particularly if you use prepared squid.
They taste superb too, you can serve them as a starter or turn them into a light main course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I really air fry calamari?
Deep frying these crispy calamari rings is the very best way to cook them as far as I am concerned.
But if you are not into fried food then air fryer calamari is a real option, you do have to be careful when flipping, if you are too rough you will lose the crispy coating.
The results are very good, the squid is not quite as tender as it is when you deep fry. But if you are worried about frying for whatever reason it is a really good substitute.
How do I check the temperature of the oil if I use a saucepan?
I use a sugar thermometer for checking the temperature of the oil if I am frying in a pan or a wok.
What’s the safest way to fry on the stovetop?
I personally prefer a wok, because it allows far more room for expansion when food hits the oil. This means that there is less chance of the oil overflowing.
If you are using a saucepan do not fill it more than a third full of oil!
Is it ok to use frozen squid rings?
I always use frozen prepared quid… There is a great deal of snobbery when it comes to frozen produce. Of course, some of it is good and some of it less so.
Squid is one of the good guys, it is also the only squid I can get my hands on. I use it for my salt and pepper squid as well as this fried calamari recipe.
In fact, there is some evidence that shows freezing and defrosting squid helps break down the proteins and leads to even more tender “fish”.
Traditionally crispy calamari would be served as a starter with some lemon wedges and maybe a greek side salad.
I like to do things a little differently and pivot away from Greek flavours and look to Spain instead.
Romesco sauce is a pepper and almond sauce that I adore and the Spanish serve it with cod. I think it makes a great sauce for these perfect fried calamari rings.
I also like to slowly fry down some chorizo sausage in a frying pan for 20 minutes. Then sear off some leek rings in the pan before throwing in some capers.
This creates a really simple light main course meal rather than a starter.
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Stovetop deep, fat fryer or air fryer.
- Large saucepan at least 20cm or 8″ in diameter or a wok if you are frying on the stovetop.
- Kitchen knife and chopping board if you are not using prepared squid rings.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Kitchen paper if you are frying.
- Thermometer for checking the oil, I would recommend a sugar thermometer.
Perfect homemade crispy fried calamari rings are not as hard as most will have you think, this breaded version can go be cooked in under 15 minutes if your squid is already prepared!
- 350g (12 oz) Squid Tubes
- 1 Egg
- 50g (¼ Cup) Flour
- 25g (¼ Cup) Panko Breadcrumbs
- Pinch Smoked Paprika
- ½ Tsp Salt
- Oil for Frying
- Heat the oil in a pan or deep fat fryer to 180°C or 350°F. If you are using a sauce[an take care not to fill it more than a third full.
- Sprinkle the squid with salt and a pinch of smoked paprika.
- Dip them into the flour, followed by the egg and finally into the bread crumbs.
- Batch fry the squid in two batches in either a large saucepan or a wok.
- Each batch should take 2 minutes to brown and cook through.
- Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper before serving.
Air Fryer Instructions:
- Prepare the calamari in the same was as outlined above and then spray them with cooking spray.
- Preheat the air fryer to 200°C of 400°F and cook for 9-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the squid rings.
- Flip half way through the cooking time and spray with more cooking oil.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 499Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 501mgSodium: 495mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 35g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.