Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Mussina

Calamari

Recommended Posts

Are there any secrets to making perfect fried calamari? I normally use a batter that is cake flour combined with cold club soda. Works great for squash blossoms, green beans, etc. When I use the same batter on calamari (the tenticles) I end up with a mushy mess.

So . . . what are you calamari techniques? Batter used?. Oil used? Temp of Oil? Cooking time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm far from an expert, but if its turning into a mushy mess then it stands to reason that your tenticles have too much liquid in them. What about if you salt them down, wrap them in a towel or 2 and press them under a heavy pan for an hour, then air-dry them before cooking?

I've been really liking my batters to be 1/4 cornstarch for the crunch recently too. And 360 is probably a good temp, for just long enough to crisp em. (In lard or coconut oil)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm far from an expert, but if its turning into a mushy mess then it stands to reason that your tenticles have too much liquid in them.  What about if you salt them down, wrap them in a towel or 2 and press them under a heavy pan for an hour, then air-dry them before cooking?

I've been really liking my batters to be 1/4 cornstarch for the crunch recently too.  And 360 is probably a good temp, for just long enough to crisp em.  (In lard or coconut oil)

Werdna is spot-on. Tentacles (and whole baby squid tubes, much superior to wedding ring style calamari) require an overnight dry, salt-based marinade with some ground dried peppers. Air dry.

Another well-tested technique for a non-gloppy, gossamer batter is to substitute rice flour for cake flour. You can experiment with a little cornstarch for additional texture if you wish. And when using baby squid tubes, after extracting the quill, cross-hatch the tubes with a sharp knife to increase the 'hold' for the batter and the surface area for the fry. Toss with some fried garlic, and chopped scallions and flat leaf parsley.

There's another secret for the classic Cambodian dipping sauce. Use bottled lemon juice with finely ground pepper, not fresh. The almost-bleachy flavour is remarkable with the squid.


Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sell a TON in my little restaurant. I dont dry it at all. I go simply into seasoned flour, then 360 degrees. Dont over fill the fry basket. 30-40 seconds into it you'll hear the oil popping start to subside a few decibles. Pull it out, onto a paper towel then serve with your sauce of choice. We use a sweet Thai chili sauce.


Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

Another well-tested technique for a non-gloppy, gossamer batter is to substitute rice flour for cake flour. You can experiment with a little cornstarch for additional texture if you wish. And when using baby squid tubes, after extracting the quill, cross-hatch the tubes with a sharp knife to increase the 'hold' for the batter and the surface area for the fry. Toss with some fried garlic, and chopped scallions and flat leaf parsley.

\

I don't have much concrete information to add, but some of the nicest fried squid I've had were some dusted with seasoned rice flour.

I tried this at home with some shrimp and they came out great. I just rolled the shrimp in rice flour with salt and pepper and then shallow fried them and they came out with a very crispy, thin coating. I've been wanting to try this coating at home with deep-fried squid but haven't tried it yet.

The other recipe I've been wanting to try is from Meyer and Romano's "Union Square Cookbook". Their coating is equal parts flour and graham cracker crumbs seasoned with salt. Toss with flour mix and then shake off excess flour by shakng the squid in a sieve. Cook at 360 deg without overcrowding to maintain the temp. They say that the small amount of sugar in the graham crackers caramelizes slightly and that they are good with a spicy dipping sauce, like the one they give for a cayenne and lemon accented anchovy mayonnaise.

Anyway, in both these cases the squid are just tossed with a dry coating and then fried and some other above have also mentioned.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reason Dave's method works is because he puts the floured squid immediately into the fryer, so there's no chance for the flour to absorb too much liquid.

I do dry squid, because I've had a couple of close encounters with hot oil splatters from over-wet squid tempura... :sad: .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ice in the batter


Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the advice. Last night I dried the calamari (tenticles only - I ceviche the tubes) best I could and dusted them with rice flour, salt and pepper. Into a pot (about 10 inches high) with about 2 inches of canola oil -- there was an immediate flood. Oil was flowing over the side of the pot all over the stove and onto the floor. A HORRIBLE mess! Perhaps I put too many in at once(I made enough for 2 small servings)?

Per another suggestion, I air dried another batch over night (after salting and weighing down with a heavy pot) that I am going to try today. I am a little nervous about the oil flood thing happening again so if anyone has anymore advice . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, I'd say you're using too many squid at once (which might also explain the gloppy mess - the oil is cooling down too much). You might want to use a larger pot with more oil if you want to do all of that squid at once.

Sounds like you're lucky you didn't end up with a fire, too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rice flour squid -- despite the mess - was delicious. Crispy and light. I tried to do about 1/4 lb at once and that might have been a bit much for my pot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...