Salt and Pepper Buttermilk Calamari

Salt, pepper and squid are a classic combo; crispy, restaurant-style calamari is easier to make at home than you might think.

  • By Julie Van Rosendaal
  • January 11, 2016
Image Author: Gabriel Cabrera


    1 lb squid, tubes and tentacles

    1 cup buttermilk

    1 garlic clove, crushed

    1 tsp sea salt, divided

    1 cup all-purpose flour

    2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

    Canola oil, for frying

    Green onions, thinly sliced

    Small red chilies, thinly sliced (optional)


    In a medium bowl, combine calamari with buttermilk, garlic and about half the salt. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

    When ready to cook, put flour, pepper and remaining salt into a plastic bag (resealable freezer bags are ideal, with no holes in the bottom). In a wide, shallow pan, heat about an inch of canola oil until hot but not smoking. Test with a small piece of bread—if the oil sizzles vigorously around it, it’s ready to go.

    Lift calamari out of the buttermilk using a slotted spoon, letting the excess drip off. Drop the pieces in batches into the bag of seasoned flour and shake about to coat well. Drop pieces into the oil, separating a bit as you do, without shaking the excess flour off. Cook, turning with tongs or a slotted spoon, until golden and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve topped with thinly sliced green onions and chilies—and a pinch of flaky salt, if you like. Serves 4 to 6.

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