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!! - SouffleBombay —SouffleBombay
Test Kitchen Notes
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&M —The Editors
Slice the calamari tubes into rings about 1/4 inch wide.
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.
Meanwhile combine the flour, salt and pepper, toss until combined. Set aside.
Combine the chili garlic sauce, honey and sesame oil, mix well. Set aside.
Drain the calamari, blot dry.
Dredge the calamari, one at a time, in the flour mixture and set on a plate until ready to fry.
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.
Toss with prepared sauce and garnish with sesame seeds if you happen to have them on hand OR serve sauce alongside the calamari.