calimari

53
10
Joined Nov 14, 2001
I am in search of the perfect fried calimari recipe. The one that's going to be nice and crispy and tender at the same time. I've tried in flour and tried in cornstarch but it seems not to come out crispy enough for me. I'm wondering if i should let the calimari sit in the cornstarch a little while and then rebread right before frying . I know you all have ideas i would really appreciate hearing your thoughts.::)
 
3,853
12
Joined May 26, 2001
I'm afraid the double-dip you suggest would make things worse -- too much coating on the calamari.

When I did my externship at Le Bernardin, the amuse was a small plate of fried calamari with house-made tartar sauce. I was so proud when I was "promoted" to calamari-girl! Which meant I had to clean tons of them each day :eek: then cut the bodies into perfect little squares.

At service, I would take a handful of calamari squares, toss them into a sieve, dip them in whole milk, then in AP flour. Shake off the excess, drop into the fryer (not sure what temp but probabaly pretty hot) for a few seconds, scoop them out when golden, drain briefly on a kitchen towel, salt, and serve. That was it. Very simple, but they were just what I think you're looking for: crisp and crunchy, light, and tender. I'm sure it would work with larger pieces. In fact, I know it does: I've done it the same way in other restaurants with rings and tentacles.

The key is not the coating, but having the oil at the right temperature -- hot enough to cook the calamari fast in the same time it takes to brown and crisp the coating.

Hope this helps. :D
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Riverrun,

Just to add to what Suzanne said,For fried calamari you want the smaller squid (about five inches)I use buttermilk with a little cayanne and salt. I let them site about 15 minutes and then I use masa harina and AP flour (seasoned) and drop them in a 375 degree fryer for 90 seconds,towel drain and serve.
 
591
13
Joined Nov 21, 2001
i agree with cc. masa harina is sometimes referred to as "clam fry" very fine cornmeal flour.
 
53
10
Joined Nov 14, 2001
Thanks alot the dipping into milk or buttermilk is most likley the process i'm missing I appreciate your responses:bounce:
 
3,853
12
Joined May 26, 2001
That's what helps the starch stick! And adds some flavor, too.

Glad we could help! :)
 
98
10
Joined Nov 13, 2003
i agree 100% with the buttermilk i use it myself. the difference in what i do is i use rice flour and kosher salt and peppercorn melage to season the flour. fry at 365 - 375 F till just golden (as before about 90 sec.) then just place on towel to drain for a sec. and serve immediately. good luck and enjoy your calamari making experience! :chef:
 
1,310
15
Joined Dec 4, 2001
Although I've never tried it myself, I have heard of using "Wondra" flour instead of AP. It doesn't clump up and fries nice and crispy. It probaly works like the masa harina which I think is a great idea. That corn flour has a flavor in its own right.

Jock
 
32
10
Joined Dec 8, 2003
using a good quality calamari is first and foremost

try fishermans pride (cheap brands tend to get tough easier)

the buttermilk also helps tenderize it

I like some of the f prepared fish fry brands like fishnchix
because they have a small amount of baking powder to fluff up the batter

Other wise line cooks want to eye everything and not measure and you lose consistency

I like Micheal Romano's recipe from Union Square in NYC

he adds graham cracker crumbs fora little sweetness and texture
 

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