Restaurant Style Fried Calamari

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Appetizer American, Italian
By Cook's Illustrated Serves: 4
Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cooking Time: ~6 Minutes Total Time: ~35 Minutes

Lightly golden, crispy, crunchy Restaurant Style Fried Calamari served with fried red peppers, a sweet chili dipping sauce and cilantro.


  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1.5 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 lb. Squid, bodies sliced crosswise 3/4-inch thick, extra-long tentacles trimmed to match length of shorter ones
  • 2 qts. Vegetable or Peanut Oil, for frying
  • Optional
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Chili Pepper, sliced into rings
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Cilantro



Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet.


In a small bowl, whisk together milk and salt.


In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and pepper.


Add the prepped squid to the milk mixture and toss to coat.


Use your hands to transfer about half the squid to the flour mixture and toss to coat.


Shake off excess flour and place in a single layer on the wire rack. Repeat with remaining squid.


Set second rack in second sheet tray and line with triple layer of paper towels. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven to 350 degrees F.


Carefully add about half of the breaded squid to the hot oil and fry for three minutes, until the squid is lightly golden brown.


Use a spider skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the calamari out of the oil and onto the paper towel lined wire rack. Place the fried calamari in the oven to keep warm.


Let the oil come back up to 350 degrees F.


Repeat frying with the remaining squid. Add the chili pepper rings to the hot oil, if using.


Serve with lemon wedges, cilantro, and dipping sauce of choice.