Fried Calamari

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

I love eating fried food out in a restaurant, but sometimes I make it at home, too. My children like these quite plain β€” and if you find making chips at the same time is just too much of a job with all that frying, then serve some broken up bits of tender crunchy lettuce hearts with feta and a light drizzling of pink sauce. The important thing here really is the quality of the calamari, which must be tender to start with (although soaking them in the milk first helps make them beautifully tender). You could also add a few shelled prawns here with the calamari. I use a deep wok-type pan for this β€” you have to take care as the calamari are quite unpredictable and often spit and splutter just as they are ready. If you have a fry cover, use it here.


  • 500 g(1 lb 2 oz) calamari, about 10–12 cm(4 inches) long
  • about 500 ml(17 fl oz/2 cups) milk
  • 100 g(3Β½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • light olive oil or sunflower oil, for frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve


Clean out the calamari and peel off their skin and wings. Halve the tentacles, if they are large, and cut the bodies into 2–3 cm(1 inch) rings. Rinse them well, put them in a bowl and pour in enough milk to cover them. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.

Drain the calamari well and pat them dry. Sprinkle the flour over a plate and season with salt and pepper. Pour enough oil into a wok or pan to comfortably fry the calamari and put it over medium heat. Pat the calamari in the flour so that they are well but lightly covered.

When the oil is hot, fry the calamari in batches, turning them as the undersides become golden and crispy. Take care with the hot oil and jumping calamari β€” you might need to stand back and reach out with long tongs to turn and lift them out when they are ready. Put them on a plate lined with a couple of layers of kitchen paper to soak up the oil, then transfer them to a clean plate and serve straightaway with lemon wedges and salt.