Sweet & Spicy Calamari

By • May 3, 2011 • 27 Comments


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Author Notes: The sauce is the star of this crowd-pleasing appetizer! Toss your fried calamari in the sauce or serve alongside -- either way it's sure to be a hit!! - SouffleBombaySouffleBombay

Food52 Review: We're all familiar with the range when it comes to fried calamari -- there are fat, chewy rings with a shaggy-crisp battered shell and a few lemon wedges served on the side; and then there are more subtle renditions, tossed simply in flour, salt and pepper before frying, allowing the squid to take center stage. This recipe inclines more towards the second version, but it's accompanied by a lively chili dipping sauce spiked with honey and sesame oil. We loved SouffleBombay's technique of soaking the squid in club soda before dredging them in seasoned flour -- it seemed to firm up the rings -- in a pleasant way -- before frying. The crisp coating is thin and delicate, swaddling the squid like a silk scarf rather than a wooly muffler. - A&MA&M

Serves 6

Calamari

  • 1 pound calamari tubes (frozen is fine)
  • 6 ounces of club soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 dashes salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Sweet & Spicy Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  1. Slice the calamari tubes into rings about 1/4 inch wide.
  2. Pour the club soda into a medium bowl, place the calamari rings in the club soda, stir until all are submerged. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile combine the flour, salt and pepper, toss until combined. Set aside.
  4. Combine the chili garlic sauce, honey and sesame oil, mix well. Set aside.
  5. Drain the calamari, blot dry.
  6. Dredge the calamari, one at a time, in the flour mixture and set on a plate until ready to fry.
  7. Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a deep, heavy pot to 375 F. Once ready, place 1/4 of the calamari in the oil and fry for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until golden. Don't overcrowd. When you pull it out, place on a paper towel-lined plate and blot gently. Repeat.
  8. Toss with prepared sauce and garnish with sesame seeds if you happen to have them on hand OR serve sauce alongside the calamari. Enjoy!!

Tags: fried, seafood, serves a crowd, simple, sweet and savory

Comments (27) Questions (6)

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about 2 years ago cadfael

what would be an example of chili garlic sauce?

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about 2 years ago SouffleBombay

Here is an image of the exact sauce I always have on hand (found in my grocery store in the Asian section) http://www.huyfong.com...

Here is a homemade version from someone I know http://www.healthygreenkitchen...

I use this sauce as a springboard to many marinades and sauces!

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over 2 years ago nnsnmp

I am drooling just looking at the picture.

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almost 3 years ago SouffleBombay

Whoohoo!! Can you see my SMILE??? Thanks so much everyone!
Enjoy the recipe!!!

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almost 3 years ago Juliette

Congratulations on your win! I can't wait to make your recipe!

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almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Congratulations!! Like I said at the beginning: I love this!!

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almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

congrats to you!

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almost 3 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations! Great recipe!

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almost 3 years ago mamas scratch house

I think this would be an excellent appetizer for someone who has never tried squid such as myself I love the sweet and sour combination and the delicate crunch of the calamari rings!

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almost 3 years ago Egela2011

I love spicy food and this sounds wonderful. cayenne pepper is delicious with these morsels. This would be great with friends.

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almost 3 years ago PsychoChef

I think that this would be something I would like to try. I have had fried calamari before, but i like the idea of kicking up with the heat from the chili sauce and the sweetness of honey. AWESOME IDEA!!!! Good luck on the finals

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almost 3 years ago ChefMommy

I think this would be an excellent appetizer for someone who has never tried squid such as myself and love the sweet-spicy combination as well as the delicate crunch of the clamari rings. I would recommend this recipe

Johnart

almost 3 years ago RIPNGUITAR

I think the spices are perfect for calamari. the cayenne really brings it all together. These are great with cold beer. This is the dish that will get all the attention

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almost 3 years ago lmayb6

Deep fried calamari, crunchy with sweet hot dipping sauce, sounds wonderful, great combination!

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almost 3 years ago ChefMommy

It's always nice to read other peoples kitchen tricks. I have always been a fan of crunchy and paired with sweet and spicy it sounds delicious.

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almost 3 years ago SouffleBombay

Thanks so much, how exciting!! !! This is one of those apps that you need to fight for to get your share when served lol! Enjoy!!

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almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmmmm. Me too. Crunch, sweet, hot. What's not to love?

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almost 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Congratulations on being chosen as a finalist! Your adaptation of deep fried calamari looks great -- very delicate and not at all heavy. I also love the idea of that zesty dipping sauce!

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almost 3 years ago prettyPeas

This sounds great. I like to marinate my calamari in buttermilk, but I think I'll give club soda a chance. Your dipping sauce also sounds right up my alley, though I usually use Thai sweet chili sauce

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almost 3 years ago CarolinaEpicurean

My husband and I are forever on the hunt for the best fried calamari. Your recipe sounds delicious! Congrats1

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats! I love fried calamari and your version sounds amazing.

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almost 3 years ago Panfusine

congratulations on the finalist pick!