There are seemingly endless varieties of recipies for fried calamari online, each with their own variation on what to use as a coating for the squid. I’ve tried several and, truth be told, most turn out pretty good. Most recently, I tried a simple approach that avoids the chewiness that can emerge from overcooking the squid (which is surprisingly easy to do).

Crispy Fried Calamari

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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  • 1 pound squid parts
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oil for frying


  1. Cut the tubes into rings about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
  2. The tentacles and bodies can be left tact, or halved if they are too large. Don’t worry about the long tentacles: they will curl up when cooked.
  3. Soak the cut squid in a bowel of buttermilk  and store in the refrigerator for a couple hours. Less is probably fine. This helps to tenderize the squid and allows the coating to cling more easily.
  4. Mix a flour salt and some pepper, or whatever other seasonings you like and spread on a plate. 
  5. Heat a large pot of oil to about 360º F. 
  6. When the oil is hot, pluck out some of the rings and tentacles, letting the buttermilk drain back into the bowl, and dredge in the flour mixture. Quickly add these to the hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed. The key is to only cook a small amount at a time to avoid large temperature fluctions and the introduction of too much moisture.
  7. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the squid to a rack or paper-towel lined plate.

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