Every one in Cape Town has their favourite restaurant for Calamari and we often make whole Sunday outings in search of our favourite seafood snack.
Calamari is SASSI green listed, affordable and readily available so it makes sense to make your favourite dish at home.
|Patagonica – tubes and tentacles|
It’s actually quite simple when you know how.
Firstly and most importantly for me is to purchase the correct Calamari as there are all sorts of weird calamari concoctions out there – including spongy steaks, reformed rings, pre-crumbed treated rings…..bleh! Rather stick to simple whole calamari, usually referred to as Patagonica. Most of our calamari comes from the tip of South America – Patagonia. South Africa also has delicious Calamari but unfortunatly it all gets exported and as much as I’ve tried it’s very difficult to secure a constant supply of local.
Once you’ve got your Calamari the rest is easy if you follow these steps.
You’ll need about 100 to 150g of cleaned Calamari per person.
- Cut the tubes into rings
- Dry the Calamari with a clean dish towel
- Dust with seasoned flour. I use a mixture of flour, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, fish masala, salt and pepper. Tip Put the flour and Calamari into a sieve, when the calamari is coated, shake the sieve until all the excess has been removed.
- Fry in hot oil, in batches – 200 degrees for 20 seconds.
- Drain on kitchen towel and serve
Do not fry too much calamari at once as this will bring the temperature of the oil down and the calamari will not be crisp. It would be best to use a proper deep fat fryer as it’s easier to control the temperature but as not every one has access to one, a large pot will do – the oil will have reached the correct temperature when a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds
|Crisp fried Calamari|
|Stir fried Calamari|
Easy Stir fried Calamari
I feel it’s easier to stir fry Calamari at home as you don’t have to fuss with a big pot of oil.
- Cut tubes into sections of about 2cm.
- Dry the Calamari on a clean dish towel.
- Heat oil until very hot. I use coconut oil but sunflower will work just as well
- Sear in a very hot pan for 25 seconds – No longer
- Season the calamari as it comes out the pan with salt, pepper, lemon juice, fresh chopped parsley and chopped chilli’s
When the pan is hot, sear the calamari in batches for 20 seconds at a time.
Remove the calamari from the heat and set aside
Add to the pan: cooked chorizo, 1 cup olives, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 clove garlic (crushed), 1 sliced red pepper, a handful of chopped parsley and a the juice from 1 lemon.
Cook until the tomatoes are just soft.
Add the calamari, heat through and serve.