This quick and easy crispy fried salt and pepper calamari is a delicious starter snack and I’ve sprinkled togarashi seasoning at the end to give it a spicy edge. It pairs beautifully with a crisp dry white wine such as the Sophie Te’blanche Sauvignon Blanc from Iona.
I marinaded the calamari tubes and tentacles in rice wine vinegar and seasoning to add a subtle layer of flavour. I would suggest marinating this for a few hours if you can in the fridge. If you are pressed for time or don’t have these ingredients then just skip this step.
Recipe – serves 2
Salt & pepper calamari
- 500 gms calamari tubes and tentacles
- ½ cup of rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 100 gms corn flour starch such as Maizena
- 1 tsp salt fine table salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
Garnishes: (all optional)
- Sliced spring onion
- Togarashi seasoning
- Sliced chilli
- Fresh basil
- Wedges of lime or lemon
- Salt & pepper
- Wasabi mayo add 1 tsp wasabi paste to ¼ cup good mayo
- Tartare sauce
- You will need 1.5 – 2 litres of oil for frying.
- Add the rinsed calamari tubes and tentacles to a bowl with the marinade ingredients and cover with cling film and to marinade for 2 – 4 hours in the fridge. Remove from the fridge at least an hour before cooking and drain. You want to try and bring this closer to room temperature before frying.
- Heat the oil in a deep large pot and bring it to 190C.
- While you are heating the oil, mix all the ingredients for the seasoned coating together in a bowl.
- Prepare a flat tray or plate lined with 3 layers of paper towel
- When you are ready to fry, toss about ¼ of the calamari and tentacles in the seasoned coating and the dust any excess off. Fry until golden and crispy and then drain with a slotted spoon or wire frying net on the paper towel. Repeat with the other batches.
- Sprinkle over your garnishes and serve with the dipping sauces of your choice.