Gluten Free Calamari!
Calamari used to be one of my favorite things in the world. I’ve never seen a “gluten free” calamari on a menu.. ANYWHERE, and I’ve always just assumed it was too hard to make. I figured there was some sort of magic trickery going on to make sure it doesn’t just turn to rubber…
I went vegetarian for a few years, and let my love of calamari go. About a year ago, I started eating meat again – and really ramped up my seafood cooking and experimenting. Upon looking around at recipes I came across some Paleo/Gluten Free Recipes for calamari and realized… THIS IS A THING… a thing I can do! You can too. Trust me! It’s actually really easy. The hardest part will be just trusting that 3 minutes is a long enough cook time and not making rubber calamari. The good news is – squid isn’t expensive so if you really want you can try to cook some way too much and find your sweet spot. I’m not squeamish and don’t worry too much about undercooked squid… It’s frying for a solid two minutes, thats enough to kill anything too dubious.
Tips and Tricks
• I cooked mine for almost exactly 2 minutes, they seemed like they could have been cooked a hair longer. But do not over cook. Fight the temptation – overcooking will turn your tender calamari into rubber rings.
• This recipe is simply the mixture of flour and spices that I used based on my preferences and what I had on hand! You can easily combine other flour mixtures. Corn, Almond, Coconut, Flax, Garbanzo, Tapioca, Quinoa, just to name a few are all good flours. I always recommend blends rather than one starch to avoid the flavor of one starch overpowering the taste.
• I used fresh tarragon because I had it – it’s not necessary.
• This is a dish best served warm and immediately – I do not recommend making this for later, or planning to have leftovers.
• Another popular pairing with this dish is marinara!
- Half Pound of Squid – Cleaned and Trimmed
- 1/2 C Coconut Oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 C Quinoa Flour
- 1 T Masa Harina
- 1 T Flax Meal
- 1 T Almond Meal
- 1 Egg
- Sprinkle of Fresh Tarragon (or dried)
- Few Dashes of Garlic Powder
- Few Dashes of Onion Powder
- Generous Salt
- 1 Lemon
1. Start by rinsing the calamari and patting it dry. Take the heads and slice them into rings.
2. Prepare your Flour Mixture by combining all the flours and seasonings into the bowl the seasonings are what give the calamari flavor – so don’t be afraid to go a little heavy!
3. Break an egg into a separate bowl and beat it.
4. Prepare your fry station by heating about 1/4 to 1/2 C of Coconut Oil in a small sauce pan. You want to have about a 1/2 inch or more of oil in the pan – so the amount of oil depends on your pan.
5. Heat your oil right before smoke point – so very hot!
6. As your oil heats up, start to coat your calamari. Dip squid into egg bath, dredge in flour mixture and then begin adding in batches to the oil.
7. To get the best texture, avoid the temptation to crowd the pan, just do a few at a time and let them fry up – they go SO fast, no need to crowd the pan. If your oil cools down – wait to add more to the pan until it heats back up. If the oil drops in temp too much, you won’t get crispy calamari!
8. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on the first side then flip, cook for another 2 minutes. Cook time depends on oil temp. You want them crisp and golden – but not overly browned. Keep an eye on them. Keep them away from each other so they fry up nicely.
9. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Repeat until all calamari is cooked.
10. Juice a lemon over the cooked calamari, top with a bit more salt, and enjoy!!