Garlic Fried Calamari

Crisp but tender fried calamari rings make a great Italian seafood appetizer with a warm marinara dip.
Garlic Fried Calamari

Garlic Fried Calamari

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This month’s topic  for #FoodieExtravaganza is garlic (and who doesn’t love that?) (Except Vampires?) and  although I have about ten gazillion things I love making with garlic, today I decided to make garlic fried calamari. Partly because I love it,  partly because it is so danged  easy to  make, and partly because I had some in the freezer  I wanted to use up.

And here you thought I planned everything out,  right? Sometimes new recipes are just born out of whatever is in  the pantry, like the refried bean soup I made for lunch today.

While squid  is something I love to eat, I know many haven’t had it before. I hope they are not afraid, because it is delicious. It  is sort of like shrimp,  but not. It is firmer,  and doesn’t have that shrimpy smell or flavor.  Squid generally smells and tastes like the sea, unless some other flavor overpowers  it.

It  is  not hard to prep if you buy the already cleaned tubes and/or tentacles. From there, just rinse it off then slice the tubes into rings. You don’t have to do anything to the tentacles. They should be a good size,  not nearly as big as some octopus can  get, although bigger than baby octopus.

Garlic Fried Calamari

The squid  is prepared  very  simply with a spiced  coating.   I double dip mine because one dip just in flour  is not enough.

These are cooked minimally,  and by that I mean when  you go  to turn the calamari over after about thirty seconds, you will  feel  it start to firm up. You don’t want it really firm or hard, and neither do you want it nice golden  brown like chicken. Otherwise  it will be impossible  to eat.  Test one first if you are not sure, to see if what you  think is a good color and firmness is still  tender. Otherwise you will  want to back off, and certainly, until you get the hang of it, cooking one and overcooking it  is better  than  overcooking them all.

Even as light as mine are (and  you can see they are not cooked  as dark as onion rings) and knowing what I am doing, if I had cooked these longer or darker they would have been no good.

Garlic Fried Calamari

And as far as seafood goes, eating calamari is certainly not weird, unless you find yourself trying  to chew a rubber band, which is pretty much what the first ones I ever ate were like back  in the  1980’s out at some restaurant on Watson Road in Crestwood Missouri. I forget the place (it was a  chain) but those horrible calamari I will  never forget.

It took me  a long time  to try them again, but today I love them in a number of recipes,  provided they are not overcooked. I know I keep saying  it, but nothing  is more true about cooking squid.

I hope you enjoy! Don’t  forget to pop down below the recipe print to see the other Garlic recipes shared by our blogging group.


Garlic Fried Calamari

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Garlic Fried Calamari

  • 1 pound squid tubes, cleaned and sliced about 1/2 inch thick (leave small tentacles whole if you have any)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley  flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup egg whites, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-4 lemon wedges
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • cooking oil


  1. Mix the flour, garlic powder, old bay, dried parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper in a shallow bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg and water in a separate small bowl.
  3. Heat oil 2-3 inches deep in a skillet to medium hot.
  4. Slice the cleaned squid about 1/2 inches thick (similar to an onion ring).
  5. Toss squid in flour mixture then dip in egg white mix, then in the flour again.
  6. Fry in hot oil (I push them open with tongs to get a nice round shape) until very lightly golden and just barely firm when you turn them over, about one minute. Do not overcook- they will appear light. If you overcook they will be like rubber bands.
  7. Drain on paper toweling.
  8. Serve with warm marinara sauce dip and lemons.

From the Kitchen of

Foodie Extravaganza


Today we’re sharing our love of garlic for Foodie Extravaganza – see all the tasty recipe ideas below:

Garlic Fried Calamari

9 responses

  1. I definitely need to try this. I’ve always wanted to make fried calamari, and the idea of extra garlic makes this sound amazing. I love the idea of “shopping” your pantry and freezer. I have to do make a habit of it!

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