Calamari "Bruce"

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 37 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 12 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Calamari and Tempura mix:

2 pounds cleaned calamari, sliced crosswise

1 cup buttermilk

1 liter canola oil or enough to deep-fry calamari

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornstarch

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces cold seltzer


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red bell pepper cut brunoise (julienne then crosswire into 1/8-inch pieces)

1 large yellow bell pepper cut brunoise (juliennes then crosswire into 1/8-inch pieces)

1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced

4 to 5 scallions, white and tender green parts only, sliced on the diagonal 

1-ounce fresh ginger (about a 1 to 1/2-inch piece) peeled and finely diced

1 tablespoon prepared wasabi

1 fresh lemon, halved and seeds removed

1 fresh lime, halved and seeds removed


  1. Toss calamari with buttermilk in a non-reactive bowl, cover and let marinated in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Make topping by heating olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, fresh ginger, and wasabi and saute until peppers are tender and flavors integrate. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Drain marinated calamari through a strainer or colander. Heat canola oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (or as deep-fryer manufacturer directs for similar foods). To make tempura, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Dredge sliced calamari in the dry mix, then set aside briefly. Add seltzer in a stream to the tempura mix while whisking constantly to make into a batter. Dip calamari into the batter or ladle batter over the calamari, and place into the deep-fryer basket, frying for a minute or two until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Finish by adjusting seasoning in topping with salt and pepper. Serve topping over fried calamari and squeeze lemon and lime juice over.