Crispy Calamari with Spicy Dipping Sauce
In my family, we are serious calamari lovers — prepared any which way! Of course, you can’t go wrong with crispy, fried calamari. A lot of folks won’t even touch the tentacles, which is why you won’t see them in this recipe. The cornstarch makes these sea creatures light and crispy, and the aioli dipping sauce gives it a really nice kick. Make these as a starter or on top of your favorite salad!
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- Cornstarch for dredging
- 1 pound bag squid rings, defrosted
- Chopped, fresh cilantro
- Lemon wedges
- ½ cup light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- In a large, heavy wok or saucepan, heat the oil until very hot. Put cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Mix in Chinese 5-spice, cayenne pepper, and salt. Put the eggs in another shallow bowl. Dip the calamari into the eggs, but don't oversaturate. Then dredge calamari in the cornstarch mixture and shake off excess. Working in batches, add to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and squeeze of lemons.
- To make the Dipping Sauce: Combine together the mayonnaise, sambal oelek, and chili sauce. Serve along side the calamari.
- Notes: Sambal oelek can be found at specialty markets and some local grocery stores. You can substitute this with sriracha sauce.
- Adapted from: Wendy Leon/Recipe.com