Fried Calamari with Tabasco and Honey Drizzle and Cilantro Aioli

/// November 18th, 2013

Fried Calamari with Tabasco and Honey Drizzle and Cilantro Aioli

I love ordering fried calamari when we eat out, but I have to admit, it’s one of those things I’ve always feared doing myself at home. This is mainly because I HATE frying; it scares the heck out of me. But also, buying squid just seems… intimidating. Is that weird? Maybe I have fish issues I need to work out.

Fried Calamari with Tabasco and Honey Drizzle and Cilantro Aioli

Anywho! I finally (wo)maned up and took the leap into at-home-calamari making this weekend, and duuuuude, SO easy! More importantly, so damn delicious. Like, so delicious I went to the gym for the first time in 3 months…! I blame the tabasco and honey drizzle. It’s totally addicting.

Fried Calamari with Tabasco and Honey Drizzle and Cilantro Aioli The actual calamari batter is a simple mix of flour, cornstarch, paprika, salt, and pepper. I’m glad I kept the base simple, because the drizzle and aioli add a TON of flavor. They’re also quite simple to whip up! For the drizzle, you just whisk in a few dashes of hot sauce into the honey, and then DRIZZLE it all over the hot and crispy calamari. So easy! The aioli is a bit more complicated, but your blender does 99.9 % of the work, and if you want to cheat and use store bought mayo, it will make things even simpler. I have a thing against most store bought mayos and find it satisfying to make my own, but do what makes you happy.

Fried Calamari with Tabasco and Honey Drizzle and Cilantro Aioli

If you’re a calamari lover looking to spice up your at home appetizer scene, I think this is the way to go! And I can say from experience, guests will think your a total rock star for starting the meal this way ;) Fry on!

Fried Calamari with Tabasco and Honey Drizzle and Cilantro Aioli – Baker by Nature

Ingredients

For the calamari:

1 pound clean calamari (squid), with tentacles, cut into 1/2″ thick rings

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 – 2 cups frying oil (depending on your pan size)

For the Tabasco & Honey Drizzle:

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 dashes tabasco sauce

For the Cilantro Aioli:

3/4 cup mayo (homemade or store bought)

1/2 cup clean cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon lime juice & zest

Instructions

For the Calamari:

Heat the oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. While it’s heating up, cut the squid into 1/2″ rings.

Mix flour, cornstarch, and spices in a large bowl, then add calamari rings, and toss until completely coated.

Once the oil is hot enough (I didn’t use a thermometer here and instead just waited until it sizzled ferociously when I added a drop of water), add 1/4 of the calamari, and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Place cooked calamari on a large platter (with a paper towel underneath), and continue to cook the calamari in batches until finished. Drizzle with tabasco & honey sauce, and serve with cilantro aioli. Best served right away!

For the Tabasco & Honey Drizzle:

In a small bowl whisk together honey and tabasco. Drizzle over hot, crispy calamari.

For the Cilantro Aioli:

In a blender combine all of the ingredients and pulse until smooth. Serve with calamari. This is also great on burgers and crab cakes!

19 thoughts on “Fried Calamari with Tabasco and Honey Drizzle and Cilantro Aioli

  1. cassie

    I’m a FOOL for calamari but I don’t like frying it either. One of our favorite places here in town serves it with cilantro aioli too. LOVE this, Ashley!

    Reply
  2. Kelly

    Wow, you did a great job concurring your frying and fish fears girl cuz this calamari looks amazing! And I love the sound of that honey drizzle and cilantro aioli: – sounds perfect with the calamari :)

    Reply
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