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Calamari with Local Squid

Posted on August 31 2021, By: Tanner Saraspe

Calamari with Local Squid

This fried local calamari recipe makes for an incredible appetizer that will wow your guests. Starts with a Saraspe family secret: soak those bad boys in buttermilk or whole milk. While harsher acids such as lemon juice can tenderize the squid, they also can dry out the meat. Due to the enzymes and slightly-acidic properties of milk, it is capable of breaking down the protein, resulting in tender, flavorful calamari. Calamari is a must have when visiting restaurants that feature it on their menu. No better way of enjoying the local squid bed than making your own. This recipe utilizes both the tentacles and the bodies of the squid.

How to clean:

When purchasing whole squid from your local fishermen or fish market, you will need to clean and cut them. Use a sharp knife to cut the tentacles from the head: cut below the eyes (see photo). This allows for an easy removal of the beak. This cut will allow you to pop the beak out from under the eyes in a swift easy motion. Next is removing the quill. The clear quill (see photo) provides structure to the head of the squid and must be removed before frying. To remove the membrane on the outside of the squid, cut off the fin on the head and use a paper towel to draw the membrane away from the head. Soak the tentacles and body in buttermilk or in this case, whole milk for about 15-30 minutes. Slice the bodies into rings.

How to bread:

Do not rinse off the buttermilk or whole milk from the tentacles and bodies. Slice the bodies into 1/2 inch rings. Mix together flour, seasonings, or panko. Dredge the calamari in the seasoned breading mix. Place in a pot of hot oil (just until it sizzles when water hits the oil). Fry in oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove squid from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.