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How to make calamari

Crispy on the outside and gorgeously tender inside, squid recipes don't get much more delicious than calamari. Traditionally enjoyed as street food in the Mediterranean, calamari tastes heavenly paired with zesty garlic aioli. Recreate this holiday snack at home with our easy-to-follow step-by-step guide.

  1. Slice the squid

    Slice 500g of cleaned squid into 1cm thick rings. Leave the tentacles whole or, if they are large, cut them in half. Place the squid into a bowl and cover with 400ml whole milk. Leave them for at least 30 minutes to tenderise, or ideally up to 8 hours. The longer you leave the squid, the more tender it will be.

    Slice the squid
  2. Make the aioli

    Meanwhile, make a very quick aioli by grating 1 small garlic clove into 200g good quality mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well and set aside until needed.

    Make the aioli
  3. Coat the squid in flour

    Place 70g cornflour and 70g plain flour into a shallow bowl. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the zest of a lemon, 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley and ½ tsp smoked paprika to the bowl. Mix well and set aside. Take small handfuls of the squid and allow any excess liquid to drain away. Toss well into the flour mix and shake off any excess. Set to one side on a plate, ready for cooking. 

    Coat the squid in flour
  4. Add the squid to the pan

    Heat 2.5cm vegetable oil in a deep-sided sauté pan. Check the temperature by dropping a small pinch of flour into the oil. If the oil sizzles, it is ready. Once it is hot enough, gently place half the squid into the oil. Allow the calamari to cook for around 2-3 minutes, turning once. When they are brown, add a handful of sage leaves to the pan, cook for 1 minute and then remove the squid and sage with a slotted spoon. Drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with the remaining squid.

    Add the squid to the pan
  5. Serve

    Sprinkle with salt and serve with lemon wedges and the garlic aioli.

    Calamari 1

  6. Ingredients

    We've made a handy shopping list so you can get everything you need to make perfect calamari at home. Don't forget to screenshot before you go shopping!

    For the squid
    500g cleaned squid
    400ml whole milk
    70g cornflour
    70g plain flour
    2 lemons, 1 zested and 1 cut into wedges
    1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
    1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    vegetable oil, for frying
    handful of sage leaves

    For the aioli
    1 small garlic clove
    200g good quality mayonnaise
    1 lemon, juiced

    Serves 4

    Each serving contains

    • Energy

    • Fat

      61g 87%
    • Saturates

      11g 55%
    • Sugars

      6g 6%
    • Salt

      1.3g 22%

    of the reference intake
    Carbohydrate 38.6g Protein 25g Fibre 1g