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Crispy Fried Calamares

Crispy Fried Calamares sometimes spelled ‘Kalamares’ is a delectably fan-favorite Filipino party dish, appetizer, or finger food snack that kids and adults alike love. These delicately delicious delicacy is made of squids cleaned with mostly the legs and the head only being used, sliced into rings then coated in a batter of salt, pepper, paprika, cornstarch, and egg, then coated with breadcrumbs to make it even crispier. Fried with oil till you get golden squid rings, best served with a side of lemon and your choice of sauces.

how to cook calamares

How to make breaded calamari (Calamares) ?

Kalamares or Calamares in English is simply ‘Squid’. Usually depending on where you live in the Philippines these can be more affordable than other meats, being especially a bit more expensive in most cities. Many do make them at home as a special treat for holidays, big or small special occasions like birthday parties, weddings, Christmas parties, and other celebrations, or to relax and snack at home with an ice cold beer. An easy enough recipe that just takes less than an hour or might even take less than half an hour to make. The calamares ingredients and procedure are as follows: squid fresh or frozen and thawed from the market, cleaned up of its inside skeleton with the legs removed, using only the head . These are then sliced into even rings, battered with a simple mix of cornstarch that helps with the crunch, salt, pepper, paprika, and or other spices of your choice, binded with an egg. Everything is then mixed then coated with breadcrumbs for an extra crunch. Is carefully cooked in hot oil, deep fried to a golden crisp, taken out to stain off excess oil and served with your choice of sauce.

What does calamari taste like? This simple recipe that only takes a few readily available ingredients at home creates a mildly sweet, and almost nutty, slightly smokey from the paprika tasting squid dish. It also has a tender but firm texture on the inside with a crunchy outer layer from the breadcrumbs.

Calamares vs Calamari

One spelled “Kalamari or Calamari” is typically seen as an Italian fried squid dish that is cooked with the tentacles still attached, or in Spain these are cut into pieces, breaded, and deep fried. Calamares is the Filipino version of the Mediterranean breaded squid, and does not always use breadcrumbs, sometimes just using batter or flour.

squid for calamares

How to enjoy this crispy fried calamari recipe?

  • Why does calamari get rubbery?

How to tenderize calamari before frying? If you want to make sure that these will be tender and not rubbery. Some tenderize squid using baking soda.

  1. Soak the squid with enough water to cover and mix these with a teaspoon of baking soda. set aside for 10 – 15 minutes. 
  2. Give it a good rinse over running water and drain.
  3. Place these over kitchen towels and pat them dry before using/covering with the batter.
  • How to cook calamari rings from frozen (the fridge)?
  • If using frozen “raw squid” , thaw this out for 25 – 35 minutes till soft, strain to take out most of the water, and pat dry with a kitchen towel before using.
  • But if using calamari rings that are already battered, fry once the oil is hot.
  • To bake or air fry, Preheat the oven or air fryer at 350°F and bake for at least 3 -5 minutes or till golden.
  • What is good to eat with calamari?

These are great as a main dish with a side of rice, roasted or mashed potatoes, or pair them with other sides like coleslaw, salads, garlic bread, french fries, or many other fried foods.

  • Looking for calamari sauces?

These pair well with lemon and other citruses and simple sauces like sriracha, hot sauce, mayo, sweet and sour sauce, or more ‘elevated’ homemade sauces, a favorite of many are the calamari dipping sauce aioli, tartar sauce, spicy garlic mayo, or your favorite salad dressing like ranch.

Crispy Fried Calamares

Course: Main, Snacks




  • 3 pieces squid

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs

  • Oil for frying

  • Mayo for dip

  • Lemon (optional)


  • Prepare the squid by separating the head from the legs. Do this by gently twisting while pulling the head and the legs apart. Discard the ink sac, remove the skin (thin black brown colored skin) from the head, separate the fin (the topmost layer of the head), remove the eyes found near the legs, and the hard structure-gladius in the middle of the legs (do this by pressing the area till the gladius pops out). Repeat with all the squids.
  • Slice the head of the squid around 1 cm thick. Transfer into a bowl and add in salt and pepper, paprika, cornstarch and egg. Mix well.
  • In another bowl filled with breadcrumbs. Add in the battered squids one by one, cover the bowl with a lid, give it a good shake, making sure these are fully coated with the breadcrumbs.
  • In a pan with hot oil, add in the squids by batches. Deep fry for 2 – 3 minutes, taking it off the pan once it looks slightly golden to avoid overcooking.
  • Seve while hot, serve with a side of lemon and mayo.

Other Yummy Deep Fried Recipes!

squid rings

Kalamares Resipi: (Tagalog version)

Mga Sangkap :

  • 3 piraso pusit
  • 2 tasa breadcrumbs
  • 4 kutsarang cornstarch
  • 1 itlog
  • Asin at paminta panlasa
  • 1 kutsaritang paprika
  • Mantika pang prito
  • Mayo pang sawsaw
  • Limon (opsyonal)

Paano Lutuin :

  1. Ihanda ang mga pusit, ihiwalay ang ulo sa mga binti nito. Para magawa ito, daha-dahan iikot habang hinihila ang ulo sa mga binti. Tanggalin ang sako ng tinta, ang balat (yung manipis na itim-kapeng kulay na balat) sa ulo, tanggalin ang palikpik (pinakamataas na parte ng ulo), tanggalin ang mga mata na makikita malapit sa mga binti, pati din ang matigas na ‘buto’ na mararamdaman sa gitna ng mga binti (para makuha ito, ipisa ang parteng iyon hanggang lumabas ito. Ulitin sa lahat ng pusit.
  2. Hiwain ang ulo ng pusit na may kapal ng 1 cm. Ilipat ang mga ito at haluin ng asin, paminta, paprika, cornstarch, at itlog.
  3. Sa ibang mangkok, lagyan ng breadcrumbs. Isa-isang ilagay ang mga pusit dito. Takpan ng takip at ialog hanggang matakpan ang mga pusit ng breadcrumbs.
  4. Sa kawali na may mainit na mantika, lutuin ang mga pusit. I-deep fry ng 2 – 3 na minuto. Tanggalin kaagad pag nagkulay golden para hindi ma overcook.
  5. Ihanda na may kasamang mayo at limon habang mainit.
Filipino kalamares

An easy to do dish that has many variations for each culture’s cuisine, different preparation methods, having more or less different spices, batter mixes, and breading. In the Philippines, these tender and crispy savory salty breaded squid rings are often associated as a rare but adored street food, appetizer in restaurants, or a special homemade snack or main dish.

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