Crispy fried calamari

Serves Icon
Time 20 Minutes
  • 1kg calamari, cleaned – ask your fishmonger to clean it for you or refer to step 1
  • 150g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • Sea salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges to serve
  • Canola oil, for frying
Fennel salad
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 3 tablespoons (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • A small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt

How to Make It
Step 1

To clean the calamari, remove the insides by grasping the tube body and pulling the tentacles from the body. Cut off the tentacles of the calamari in one piece and set aside. Discard the insides and head of the calamari. Push the tentacles outwards, removing the beak at the base of the tentacles and discard. Remove the backbone (a thin, clear sliver of cartilage) from the tube of the calamari by holding onto the backbone and pulling it from the calamari tube. Lastly remove the calamari skin by running your fingers underneath the skin, then peeling it off. Remove the skin from the wings, body tube and tentacles and discard skin. Rinse the cavity well and pat dry.

Tip: To save time, ask your local fishmonger to clean the calamari for you.

Step 2

Use a sharp knife to separate the wings from body of the calamari. Cut the body into 1.5cm thick rings and the wings into 1.5cm thick slices. Roughly chop the tentacles.

Step 3

Trim the fennel bulb by removing any green stalks. If the base of the fennel bulb is a little brown, cut a thin slice off. Use a vegetable peeler to remove any brown parts from the sides of the fennel. Cut the fennel bulb in half, then thinly slice using a mandolin or knife and place into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, parsley and season with salt to taste. Toss gently to combine.

Step 4

Place the flour in a small bowl. Add 4 calamari pieces at a time and toss to coat. Gently shake off excess flour from the calamari and transfer to a large plate.

Step 5

Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium to heat. Cook, in small batches, for 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden. Drain on paper towel and season with sea salt before serving. Divide the pan fried calamari, fennel salad and lemon wedges among 4 serving plates – buon appetito!

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