Fried Calamari

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  • Total: 4 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 4 hr
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 pound fresh calamari

2 cups milk

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon garlic hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

2 cups flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 eggs

Vegetable oil, for frying

Puttanesca Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

Lemon wedges, for serving

Puttanesca Dipping Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

1/4 cup pitted, diced black olives

1 tablespoon capers

3 tomatoes, diced

A pinch chile flakes

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Clean the calamari and cut the bodies into thick rings, reserving the tentacles separately.
  2. Mix the milk and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes until it thickens. Add the garlic hot sauce. Add the calamari and soak in the buttermilk for up to 4 hours. 
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, paprika and cayenne. Beat the eggs in another bowl. 
  4. Remove the calamari from the buttermilk and drain. Dip into the beaten egg, and then the flour mixture. 
  5. Fill a heavy skillet with 2 cups vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat to 360 degrees F, or set a deep fryer to 360 degrees F. Fry the calamari, in batches, until brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Place on a plate and pat dry any excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with the Puttanesca Dipping Sauce and lemon wedges.

Puttanesca Dipping Sauce:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, anchovies, olives, capers and tomatoes. Saute for another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and chile flakes. (Add a little water if it's too thick.) Stir in the parsley and lemon zest.