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Crunchy Calamari Recipe from Croton's Phyllis Kirigin

Croton chef Phyllis Kirigin lets us in on the secret to the crunchiest calamari ever revealed: tempura batter.

If you crave the crunchiest calamari, put the wheat flour aside and think tempura. We’re not talking about anything heavily coated here, but a light golden brown crispy coating using rice flour. Many recipes for fried calamari call for a light dusting of flour.  However, if you want calamari to take on color and crispiness, go for this delicate batter.


Ingredients
4 cups peanut oil
1 lb. cleaned squid, including tentacles
1 cup rice flour, separated
2 T cornstarch
2 ½ t baking powder
1 ½ t peanut oil
½ salt
1 t sugar


Directions
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice squid bodies into 1/2–inch lengths
3. Make sure tentacles have no hard parts and slice in half lengthwise
4. Shake squid with ½ cup rice flour in a bag to coat.
5. Mix ½ cup rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder, peanut oil, salt and sugar  in a bowl.
6.  Stir in enough water, approximately 1/3 cup, to make a batter slightly thicker than heavy cream.
7. Coat squid with batter, a few pieces at a time, allowing excess to fall off, and lower into hot oil.
8.  As squid browns on one side, gently flip over until golden brown.  This will take only few minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
9.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges and perhaps a dipping sauce.

Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
¼ cup sweet soy sauce
¼ t grated fresh ginger
½ t rice wine vinegar
¼ t toasted sesame oil
Dash of Sambal Oolek (optional)

Mix ingredients in a small bowl.  Thin slightly with water.

Tartar Sauce
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 medium gherkins or cornichons, finely diced
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.


Photographer Bill Brady

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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