Deep-Fried Calamari with Tomato Sauce Recipe

Deep-Fried Calamari with Tomato Sauce Recipe

Fried Calamari with Tomato Sauce RecipeWho doesn’t love deep-fried calamari, especially crispy and delicious one? This amazing appetizer is everyone’s favorite. That’s not the only good thing about it, of course. This crispy and delicious appetizer is easy to make and we are here to give you a recipe for that.

Calamari” means squid in Italian. Although it is Italian appetizers, it is a very, very popular appetizer served in restaurants, Italian or not. It is not a surprise considering how tasty the appetizer is, especially when served with tomato sauce.

Cooking Tips

  • Cut evenly

When you deep friend the squid rings, you want them to cook evenly. One of the ways you can ensure this is by cutting the squid into similar sized rings. You don’t have to cut them at exact, even size, of course. Cutting them into similar size is enough.

  • Even coating yields the best result

The flour coating is also important. To get the best result, you need to remove any excess flour from the rings. Just put the rings on a strainer and shake them off gently. The excess flour will then be removed.

  • Temperature

Temperature is crucial here. For the best result, you need to keep the oil at the appropriate temperature. Too hot and the rings can burn. Too cold and the rings will be greasy as they absorb the excess oil. As such, it is a good idea to use a frying thermometer so you can keep an eye on the temperature and adjust as needed.

  • Drain the oil

What you want is crunchy squid rings, not greasy ones. So when you serve the appetizer, make sure to drain the excess oil first. You can put the squid rings on paper towels and leave them for a while. The paper towels will absorb excess oil.

  • No tomato sauce? No problem

Our recipe here did include tomato sauce. But that by no means is the only sauce you can use for the appetizer. You can replace the tomato sauce with pasta sauce, for example. Some people even serve it with marinara sauce, cocktail sauce, or lemon aioli.

  • Serve immediately

This appetizer is best when served immediately after cooking. Of course, you can also cook it then store and reheat using an oven if you like but doing so may make the squid rings rubbery, thanks to the extended baking time. So if you want to enjoy the appetizer at its best, serve it immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is it?

The word “calamari” means squid in Italian. So yes, our recipe is here is for deep-fried squid. The appetizer is made of squid sliced into small rings, then coated with a flour mixture, and finally, deep-fried.

  • How can the squid properly?

If you purchase whole squid, you must cut and clean it first before cooking it. To clean the squid properly, rinse it under cool running water. Then, pull its tentacles away from the body. Cut the head of the squid off and discard.

Remove the tentacles beak and clean any innards inside the body. Remove the clear quill. If there is a membrane outside of the body, remove it also. Next, cut the large fins off the body. Finally, cut the squid body into small rings. The squid is now ready to cook.

  • How to tenderize the squid?

If you want to tenderize the squid, use buttermilk. Other than tenderizing the squid, buttermilk also comes with added benefits: it helps the flour coating to stick to the rings and add a flavor to them. Lemon juice or regular milk can also be used to tenderize the squid.

  • How many calories does it have?

Per serving, 303 calories.

  • What is the best coating?

If you want extra crispy squid rings, use a mixture of cornstarch and all-purpose flour. The ratio of the cornstarch and the flour is 1:2. You will need a beaten egg as well. Add the egg before the rings are coated, then coat them evenly. Remove the excess flour and deep fry. Voila, extra crispy squid rings.

  • Is deep frying the only way to cook it?

You can pan fry calamari. The result will not be as good as deep-frying, however. With that being said, if you can’t deep fry the rings, you can shallow fry them and you can get the same results as you would with deep frying. Simply prepare a skillet, pour oil until it is 1-inch deep and shallow the rings until they turn golden brown.

  • What other dishes to serve with it?

Deep-fried calamari is an Italian appetizer, so it is best served with other Italian dishes. For example, marinated tomatoes, Italian shrimp pasta, parmesan garlic bread, and Italian roasted carrots.

Deep-Fried Calamari Recipe

Fried Calamari 1Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: Fried calamari

Keyword: Fried calamari recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 3 people

Calories: 303


  • Cayenne pepper, about 3 dashes
  • Oil, for deep frying
  • Chopped parsley, for garnishing
  • Tomato sauce (you can also use pasta sauce if you like), for dipping
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (beat before cooking)
  • 2 oz. of cornstarch
  • 4 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 8 to 12 oz. whole squid


  1. Clean the squid then cut the tubes into 1/2-inch rings
  2. Prepare a big bowl. Add the beaten egg and squid. Stir the ingredients so they mix well.
  3. Prepare another big bowl. Add cornstarch, all-purpose flour, cayenne pepper, and salt. Combine them and stir. Make sure the ingredients mix well before proceeding.
  4. Next, drop some squid rings into the flour mixture. Coat the rings well the put the rings on a strainer. Repeat this process until all of the rings are coated with flour mixture. Remove excess flour by shaking the strainer gently.
  5. Prepare a skillet and pour oil until it is 1-inch deep. Set the skillet on high heat and wait until the oil is heated.
  6. When the oil is heated, put in the squid rings and deep fry them.
  7. Once the rings become light brown, remove the squid from the skillet.
  8. Prepare some paper towels and let the rings drain on them.
  9. Take the parsley and garnish the fried squid rings.
  10. Serve the calamari with tomato sauce.
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