Homemade fried calamari satisfies that restaurant-appetizer itch gloriously. This fried calamari recipe makes the best & crispiest calamari you've ever had!
Course: Fish and Seafood
1 1/2poundsbaby squid(680g, with the hoods cut into rings and the tentacles separate)
5-6cupsvegetable oil(for frying; plus 2 tablespoons)
1/2teaspoonOld Bay seasoning
Black pepper(to taste)
First prepare your squid. Rinse it well in cold water. Cut the tentacles off using one cut, keeping about a 1/4 inch of the hood in order to keep all the tentacles in one piece. If you're using larger squid, you can cut these pieces in half lengthwise in order to make them bite-sized. Having each piece roughly the same size is important for achieving the same cooking time for each piece of calamari.
In a medium-sized deep pot, add enough oil so that the level of oil reaches 4 inches up the side of the pot. Heat the oil until it reaches 325 degrees F.
While you're waiting for the oil to heat, mix up your dry mixture. Combine the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
When the oil reaches temperature, you're ready to start dredging your squid. Work in batches of small fistfuls of calamari. Gently squeeze off any liquid and dredge the squid in the dry mixture.
Using a long-handled sieve or slotted spoon, lower the calamari into the hot oil. Gently move the calamari pieces back and forth. Let them fry until golden brown--about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove all the calamari and let drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Taste one piece of calamari for saltiness (Be careful, it's hot!). You can sprinkle more salt immediately after frying to your taste. Continue frying in these small batches until you've fried all the squid.
Serve with marinara sauce or tartar sauce and a few lemon wedges on the side! Proceed to marvel at the fact that you can now have enormous portions of restaurant-quality calamari appetizers at home.