Juan’s Calamares Fritos
This is called Calamari (plural for
Calamar……Squid) in Italian but I learned it
in Spain so this is that version. Some folks dip
the Squid in Flour first and then Eggs which
makes a different exterior (Egg Filigree) but otherwise it’s
pretty much the same anywhere.
1. Squid………as many as you want to cook.
2. Eggs…….enough to coat the Squid, I use
3. A big fat clove of Garlic
4. Flour……….enough to coat the Squid
5. Black Pepper
6. Olive Oil……..enough to deep fry
7. Lemon for garnish
8. Maybe Aioli for dipping
These days I buy the Squid already cleaned at
the Asian and Hispanic stores.
Cut the Bodies into rings.
already cut into rings.
Or buy them
However, if you are on vacation and you have
been out splashing around in the surf and some
of them got caught in your bathing suit, then
you will have to clean them yourself. You start
right where my index finger is above.
Right where my finger is pointing in the
picture above is the end of what serves the
Squid for a backbone. I’ve always wondered
how Squid invented plastic millions of years
before we came along but there it is. I call it a
quill because that’s what it looks like to me. It
is a piece of clear plastic and you have to start
here and separate it from the body.
You have to pull this thing out and it goes all
the way back to the other end of the body.
This is what it should look like if you get all of
it in one piece. If you don’t get all of it, you will have to
dig around and pick it out piece by piece.
Then you have to remove all the icky guts and
Many people go to the trouble to peel off the
skin and if you buy them already cleaned, they
will usually be peeled. It’s too much trouble
for me and I quit bothering with many years
The tentacles are edible and good so you cut
them off just a little away from the eyes.
Then mash the tentacles at the cut end and the
“beak” will pop out.
This thing is literally a beak. If you were
Captain Nemo on the Nautilus in Jules Vern’s
“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”,
this would be the thing that you would most
need to avoid.
You discard the beak, the quill, the guts and all
that nasty, yucky stuff for the moment. Later
when no one is looking, you can give it to
your neighbor’s cat………..or use it for fish
Now you cut the body into rings and what’s
left into little pieces.
If the tentacles are too big, you might cut them
all is cleaned and cut, beat a couple eggs.
everything in, slosh it around and get
everything well coated. If you have guests
coming and you don’t want to fry until just
before they arrive (nice and hot), put it in the
fridge for now.
Dump some Flour in a bowel and add some
Black Pepper………..and any other spices you
Or use a
If you cook outside like I do, you might notice
curious onlookers. Don’t be bothered by this
and just go on with what you’re doing.
Olive Oil to your fryer for deep
frying…………..enough to completely
immerse the Squid as you plop them in.
Add a big fat,
somewhat smashed, Clove of Garlic.
Fry the Garlic
until it’s lightly browned, remove it and put it
in whatever else you might have on the stove
that likes Garlic.
the Squid with the Flour.
only enough pieces at one time to make one
layer in them fryer………..don’t stack. Fry all
on high, a little at a time, until golden brown.
Serve the Calamares with, some Aioli, Lemon
Wedges, Romesco and a nice big pile of Tapas