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The best way I know is the simplest: dip the calamari in milk, toss in flour (Wondra is great, if you can get it), shake off excess, drop in hot oil until golden (just a few seconds), drain, and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately -- holding anything fried will affect crispness.
 

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Suzanne beat me to the punch.

In the restaurant we simply did as she described, (although we didn't use wondra, just regular flour), and the calamari was crisp and delicious.

Make sure you're oil is hot enough too.

Mark
 

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Common mistake i've seen is sloppy flouring. You get uneven coating and places where it breaks. Work that flour in there, especially the inside of the rings. Shake excess off in a strainer. Fry.

My favorite is 1:1 flour:corn mill. A little salt, white pepper.

What temp's your frielator?
 

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Wondra is great if you have access to it, but I also often use regular flour. I will often had some cornstarch to it also. I find it helps the crispness.
 

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I agree with sharhar. Also, you have to get messy to bread calamari correctly, tossing it in the breading and seperating the pieces. Throughly shaking the excess calamari breading off of the rings and tentacles is a really important step. You want to use something big enough to recycle the breading for the next order (hotel pan works well). Make sure it's throughly breaded and you're using oil that is both hot and clean, and if you still need a breading recipe I'll post it, just ask.

And serve it immediately, as with any fried food.
 

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the way I like calamari, flour the calamari in straight flour, paprika, salt and pepper. In a saute pan, heat your oil until it starts to smoke, quickly add the calamari in an even layer, sear on one side until golden brown, flip once, add garlic, red pepper flakes, and a little pepperocinis. serve at once.
 

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How nice to be agreed with! ;)

Point of explanation: at the restaurant, we would have one large round sieve/strainer sitting with its bottom in the pan of milk, and another on top of the pan of flour. So it was easy to throw a portion into the milk, swish it around, pull out the strainer to shake off the excess, dump the calamari from that strainer into the one in the flour, scoop flour on top and shake it around, then shake off the excess before dropping it into the fryer basket. Very fast, very clean (no flour/milk gunk on your hands). This would work with flour, flour+cornmeal, just about any dry coating.
 

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Sounds delicious! Fried calamari, though, can be great so long as it's not heavily breaded or battered, and not greasy.

You (castlebravo) might like it the way I did it for T-Day (had a non-meat-eating guest): marinated whole bodies in olive oil with a little lemon juice, oregano, S&P, and hot pepper flakes. Then laid them in a very hot cast-iron pan for about one minute per side. Now THAT was good! :lips:
 

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Hi there, how does Buttermilk differ from normal milk? And does powdered Buttermilk affect your recipe?
Buttermilk has a sourness. You don't need it though and you definitely don't need powdered stuff for fried calamari. All you need is flour, seasoned or not is up to you.

The most important thing besides serving the calamari right away is not to place it on paper towels once it comes out of the fryer. Anything that is fried should be placed on a rack and then served immediately. It keeps it crisp.
 
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