Calamari with Butter, Lemon & Garlic


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as an Antipasto

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

This must be cooked in a really hot chargrill pan and then combined with the sauce to serve. You could also add a little chilli here if you like. Serve with white rice or pasta, or just bread to wipe up the buttery garlic.


  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) calamari (preferably baby calamari)
  • 100 g ( oz) butter
  • juice of lemons
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • lemon wedges, to serve


To clean the calamari, pull the tentacles away from the body. Remove the transparent bone from inside the body and rinse the body well under cold running water. Holding the tentacles firmly with one hand, squeeze out the little beak and cut it away, leaving the tentacles whole. Rinse the tentacles. Cut the body into rings about 3 cm (about an inch) thick, leaving the tentacles whole (if they seem particularly large, cut them in half). Pat dry.

Heat the butter in a saucepan and, when it sizzles, add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for a moment to flavour the butter but not burn. Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.

Heat a ridged chargrill pan (griddle) to very hot (it should be just about smoking). Scatter with about half the calamari in a single layer (you will have to do it in two batches) and cook it over the highest possible heat. When you see that the calamari has darkened in parts on the underside, turn over with tongs and cook until the other side is darkened (take care that it doesn’t burn though, or it will taste bitter). Move it around in the pan with a wooden spoon and let it cook for a couple of minutes more, then add it to the warm butter in the saucepan while you cook the next batch. Season to taste if necessary and serve hot, directly from the pan, with lemon wedges.