Something Smells Fishy...
This is one of those recipes that I always eat at restaurants and never ever make at home. I always enjoy restaurant calamari. It’s the one thing that a restaurant almost never spoils, at least I personally can’t remember having bad calamari from any restaurant (thankfully). This recipe is flavorful and well-seasoned. The squid rings are tender and the dipping sauce, toasted sesame seeds and scallion all come together for one delicious bite.
You know calamari is the bomb when there is fried shrimp right next to it and everyone eats the calamari instead. My family had some reservations about this recipe. “Eww squid” I said to them, we eat fish, crab, lobster, and conch why not squid? And if you can eat conch you should have no problems eating squid. They basically do not have a distinct flavor of their own, they take on whatever flavor you give it. Their texture is however distinct, slightly chewy. My octo-phobea was set to sail many years ago. The first time I ever had squid was at the Ritz Carlton I was about 14 and for dinner they had jerk squid pasta. I will never forget eating the little tentacles, not a single soul in my family would try it, I was on my own.
I knew this month I needed to explore other sea creatures apart from the usual fish and shrimp. I was ecstatic when I saw that Mega Marts frozen seafood section had evolved to the incredible spectacle it is today. Crab, lobster, squid rings, squid tentacles, mussels, clams, shrimp you name it and they probably have it. It really made my March seafood madness month so much easier to know that all my ingredients were just a 5 minute drive away.
The toasted sesame seeds and the honey dipping sauce are to me play the best supporting roles in this dish. This recipe is too easy not to make at home, can’t believe I waited this long!
Ingredients (Printable ingredient list)
Milk (to soak calamari)
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Scallion to garnish
Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
- I soaked my squid rings in milk over night to make sure they were as tender as possible when fried
- If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a deep pot and heat the oil to 350-375 degrees
- It’s best to have this fresh, not left over, as you may or may not know some seafood reheated can become rubbery. However if you must reheat this do it quickly in a toaster oven or oven, never a microwave.
A deep fryer is so helpful especially when controlling the temperature of the oil. This one is great for the occasional deep fryer user.