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Salt & Pepper Calamari

by Annalisa Brown (follow)
Easy (2874)      Quick (1387)      Seafood (169)     
It's a popular dish that can be found served at your local pub, cafe or fine dining restaurant. Now you can make this perennial favourite at home.

Salt & Pepper Calamari served with Eggplant Chips and lemon

My cooking style has always epitomised simplicity and time efficiency and it doesn't get any easier than Salt & Pepper Calamari. At a seafood workshop, I was shown how to take the fear out of cooking with calamari and by adopting certain techniques can guarantee you cook tender and crispy calamari time and time again.

Let me share those secrets with you and at the same time enjoy some Salt and Pepper Calamari.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2-3 servings

3 Squid Hoods
Cup of Rice Flour
Teaspoon of Salt
Teaspoon of Pepper
Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika Powder
Teaspoon of Mixed Spice
1 Red-eye Chilli
Rice Bran Oil for Frying

Slice squid into rings.

Squid Hoods

Cut squid into rings

Combine the rice flour, salt, pepper, mixed spice, smoked paprika powder and red-eye chilli. For ease, I place all ingredients into a plastic zip lock bag.

Add the calamari rings into flour mixture. Zip lock the bag and shake until the calamari rings are thoroughly tossed and covered in flour.

Add calamari rings into flour mixture and shake until thoroughly covered in flour and spice mix

Heat oil until very hot then carefully drop the calamari rings into the oil and flash fry for a couple of minutes only until the calamari are golden brown.

Flash fry calamari until golden brown

Cook in batches and place onto a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Cook calamari in batches and place onto a paper towel to drain any excess oil

Serve calamari with eggplant chips and lemon pieces. Enjoy with a cold beer.

Salt & Pepper Calamari served with Eggplant Chips and lemon pieces. Enjoy with a cold beer

Use this recipe to make eggplant chips.

Calamari is the perfect food to flash fry, as the high temperature and quick cooking seals in the natural moisture, making for tender calamari. This also prevents the calamari from absorbing too much oil.

I used rice bran oil as it has a higher temperature range when frying foods. It is also lighter than regular olive oil. It is excellent for flash frying.

When using the flash frying technique, rice flour allows a light and crusty-like texture to develop, so that you get a similar result to tempura. You can find rice flour at any Asian supermarket.

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