Calamari Fritti

Depending on your preference, serve this crispy calamari with marinara sauce or a basil pesto dipping sauce.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. calamari, cleaned and cut into 1-inch rings, tentacles left whole
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper


  • In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, garlic salt, onion powder, and cayenne together. Add the cleaned calamari, ensuring it is well covered in the liquid. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.
  • Place a large colander in the sink and pour the calamari with buttermilk mixture into it. Gently shake the colander to drain off the marinade. Use paper towels to blot off excess liquids.
  • Preheat oil in a wok to 375°F.
  • In a large zip-top bag, add the flour, cornmeal, salt, and black pepper. Add the calamari and zip the bag closed. Shake well to evenly coat the calamari. Pour the contents of the bag into a large colander (or you can do this in batches) and sift the calamari to get rid of any extra flour.
  • In batches, carefully add the calamari into the hot oil and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly golden and crispy.
  • Transfer the fried calamari to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat until all the calamari has been fried. Season with salt and serve immediately.