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Batter-fried Calamari Rings

Purchase the largest calamari rings available for the neatest end result. The tenderness of the calamari is often unpredictable but allowing the rings to thaw  completely, frying only until cooked and adding salt after frying will prevent them from becoming tough.

Be sure to try the recipes for Prawn Tempura (Batter-fried Prawns) and Best-ever Batter-fried Fish for different types of batter.

± 500 g calamari rings
cornflour (Maizena) to dust

250 ml self-raising flour
pinch salt
1 large egg
± 200 ml water
sunflower oil for frying
salt to sprinkle

To serve (optional)
Tartar sauce or butter flavoured with lemon juice and garlic
lemon wedges

  1. If the calamari rings are frozen, place in a colander and rinse well to remove ice particles.
  2. Drain and wrap in a cloth towel for a while to thaw completely and become quite dry, thus reducing spattering while frying.
  3. Dust with corn flour so that the batter adheres to the rings.
  4. Combine the flour, salt, egg and sufficient water to obtain a relatively firm batter and add the rings to the batter. Stir to coat well.
  5. Pour enough oil into a deep saucepan to fill it to a depth of about 50 mm and heat to moderately hot.
  6. Lift our the rings individually, drain off the excess batter and drop a few rings at a time into the oil.  Fry for 1 to 2 minutes to a side until pale golden and crisp, keeping the saucepan partly covered or cover with a perforated lid to prevent excessive spattering.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the stove plate before lifting the lid when turning over the rings.
  8. Remove the fried rings from the oil with a draining spoon, drain on absorbent paper and keep warm until all the rings have been fried.
  9. Serve as soon as possible to ensure tender rings in a crisp batter
  10. Arrange the rings on a bed of buttered or Parsley Rice and add lemon wedges and salad.

3 to 4 servings.

To create a bountiful Italian seafood platter, combine the calarami rings with peeled, de-veined prawns, mussels, firm white fish fillets cut into strips, or any fresh seafood that is available.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 179.