Italian Calamari is one of my favorite appetizers. But honestly, I don’t always like the way restaurants prepare it. It’s kind of a hit and miss recipe for me. You either know what you’re doing or you don’t and it’s so easy to make it just blows my mind when chefs screw it up. So I have decided its important to add a few of my favorite Recipes over the last year that are definitely some of the best around. My Salt and Pepper Calamari is so tender you won’t believe your mouth. Plus I talk about the secrets to that recipe in the link below. If you’re interested in Sautéed Squid with Caramelized Onions and Seared Potatoes, then you should definitely check out this other recipe that derives it’s influence from Spain. Both recipes, in my opinion, are absolutely incredible and that’s why, like many of my other recipes here on Poor Man’s, I’ve decided to take the time to film Video Recipe Tutorials for each of them on my YouTube Channel to be included with the ingredients. In fact you may or may not have seen the last video I filmed, before this recipe, but it was indeed a Cleaning and Preparing Tutorial on Whole Squid for Calamari Recipes. If that’s something you’re interested in watching, I’ll include a link for that below as well. With that being said, I expect you’ll very much enjoy this recipe, if not one of the others, if perfection is what you’re looking for.
For most people, making Tender Calamari is not an easy chore. Even restaurants struggle with it. When you get it in rings, it’s slices of the body on those six inch squid, so it tends to be very chewy. When you get all eight of the legs and tentacles, you are just getting the lower half of the same squid. Understand? Top and Bottom. No matter what you do, Cooking Calamari like this isn’t ever going to make it any less chewy, and tenderizing them with a mallet is just ridiculous. So you need another solution, and here it is; Calamari Steaks!
This isn’t just a good alternative; it’s the best way to turn out Tender Calamari. It’s not chewy this way at all. It’s soft yet Crispy and very flavorful. In fact I can eat an entire plate of it cooked this way, and you will to if you haven’t already. Oh, and if you can’t find it at your local grocery or seafood market, tell them to order it for you. How do you think I got these? Smith’s Food and Drug just pitches me a phone call when ever anything I ask them to order arrives. No extra cost to me, and they get exactly what I want, when I want it. It’s sweet!
Anyway, the Salt and Pepper Calamari recipe can be found at various restaurants around the globe. I think the most popular menus include P.F. Chang’s Salt and Pepper Calamari (my personal favorite), and Typhoon’s, which I don’t like at all. So today I’m going to model P.F. Chang’s. If you’ve ever had their recipe, you know it’s to die for. So let’s dive right in to this Tender Calamari recipe and get started.
Tender Salt and Pepper Calamari Ingredients:
2-4 Calamari Steaks Thawed and sliced 1-2 Green Onions thinly sliced 2 Pinches of Margarita Salt and Pepper
1 egg white 2 tbsp canola oil (any oil is fine) 1 pinch of Garlic Powder 1 pinch of Ginger Powder (Curry powder isn’t bad either) ½ tsp Soy Sauce ½ cup of Corn Starch
Calamari Dipping Sauce:
1 pt Hoisin Sauce ½ pt Black Bean Garlic Sauce (or Bean Curd) 1 pt Orange Chili Sauce You can also add a little bit of sugar soy and vinegar if you’d like.
After ½ hour of marinating the Tender Calamari, dredge the slices through Potato starch, or cornstarch until it is evenly coated, then fry at 375 degrees for 1 ½ minutes. Be sure to separate each piece with a spider or a slotted spoon while frying. Then toss the Tender Calamari in a bowl with Slices of Green Onion and season with Salt and Pepper to your taste.