Some of my friends that have had my spicy calamari dish have asked me for the recipe so, here it is folks! Sorry for the delay.
I don’t know about you guys but when it comes to seafood, I could feed on it all day long, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Yes, you guessed it! I love seafood. It could be because I'm a Piscean? Or it could be just that seafood rocks!? A bit of both but I would go more with the latter.
This spicy calamari dish is light and pretty healthy too, rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy omega 3 oils which help us stay away from the cardiologist. I have chosen to make them slightly different by adding no batter or breadcrumbs to those since I wanted the dish to remain a low carb and a gluten-free one but see below other ideas on how these could be made.
Is there a difference between calamari and squid ?
Well, yes and no, but yes, it really depends on what and how we are looking at this! It can be a little confusing.
One thing that we may all agree on it’s that both are super popular sea food around the world, then the opinions and the light we see these is beginning to vary.
Some say squid is exactly the same as calamari, some say they are completely different. Who do we believe? Let’s see if I can bring some light onto this debate.
I think I do know where the confusion originates from and what is creating all this debate around these two ‘famous’ seafood ingredients.
Well, there are over 500 species of squids that vary in shape, size and overall weight.
Similarities and differences between squid and calamari
The similarities are that both Squid and Calamari do not have external shells making them look fairly similar.
The difference is that Calamari is the actual name that represents the squid species and these are smaller in size, they have those side fins/flaps that run on the full length of their body squids are larger in size, have fins too but only running for only a little bit on the sides making them look more like an arrow. Also texture-wise, the calamari is more tender which also makes it more expensive.
When it comes to cooking squid, the method is quite different from how we cook the other regular seafood.
Since calamari is more tender as well as tastier, it is best to grill, stir-fries or simply fry whereas the squid is best to stuff and stew. There is also a difference in price, squid being the cheaper option being the tougher one between the two.
It is common especially in some areas that squid is referred to as the actual creature and the calamari as the cooked outcome. Some even say that calamari the actual Italian word used for squid.
Scientifically, therefore, the differences are certainly there between the two. When it comes to reality, restaurants and the whole concept around this topic squid vs calamari, they are presented as the same thing, no difference is made cooked squid meaning calamari.
Ways to cook calamari:
- in a curry
- deep fried with a light dusting in Panko breadcrumbs *
- shallow fried in a salad
* Panko breadcrumbs - The word panko is made of the Portuguese word for bread “pao” and the Japanese word for flour “ko”. Panko is ground-up bread or breadcrumbs that give a light and crunchy texture to fried food, nice and crispy. The Portuguese not only influenced the Japanese cuisine with the wheat yeasted breads but also with the batter used in Japanese cuisine for tempuras.
MORE DELIGHTFUL seafood RECIPES
I will get on with revealing this gluten and carbs free, super light and delightfully simple spicy calamari recipe.
- 4 large calamari
- 1 pinch salt I have used pink Himalayan
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon cajun powder * homemade recipe (see recipe notes)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper or red chilli flakes to sprinkle over at the end (optional)
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 lemon lemon juice to serve
- 2-3 tablespoons Olive oil
- Wash the calamari thoroughly, cut into rings about 1 cm thick sprinkle some salt and put aside in a sieve to drain properly.
- Peel the garlic, crush and chop finely.
- Place a nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat and cook the calamari rings. There will be some water released but if it's not too much leave it. It will evaporate as you cook the rings. If it is quite a lot of water just dispose of some and as an indication, there should be roughly about 4 spoonfuls of liquid which is enough to cook them, anything extra, dispose of. Keep stirring or tossing pretty much continuously until all the juices have run out. The whole thing shouldn't take longer than 12-13 min.
- When the calamari is left with no juice at all, add the oil, garlic and the Cajun powder* (see recipe notes for details).
- Toss in the frying pan for 1 minute or so and take off the heat.
- Place on a serving plate and enjoy with an extra pinch of freshly ground pepper or even some red chilli flakes if you want them extra hot and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
- paprika, 3 tbsp
- garlic powder, 1 tsp
- fennel seeds ⅔ tbsp
- black pepper, 1 tsp
- cayenne pepper ½ tsp
- onion powder, 1 tbsp
- dry thyme 1 tablespoon ( or dry basil leaves)
- dry oregano, 2 tbsp
- cumin seeds 2 tbsp
- red chilli flakes - 1 teaspoon (or more if you wish this to be fairly hot) I place all the above ingredients into a spice blender and give it a good few pulses until it blends evenly. I store it in an airtight container which is generally a glass container with a screw lid/top. For this cajun powder, if you are making it at home use the quantities that you like and blend the ingredients in the quantities you may like by adding more of the ingredients you like most and decreasing the ones you are not so keen on or even take it out completely. This is the beauty of making your own spices at home. It will never be the same which to me it is the exciting thing about home cooking. Getting creative and adventurous is ultimately what matters the most. It can’t get any better, and this calamari dish is truly scrumptious! Oh, in fact, yes, a glass of white will be just what is missing but okay if you decide to give the wine a miss. Enjoy this heavenly divine dish as a fabulous starter. Did you make this delicious spicy calamari dish? Please do let me know how you liked it, did you give it any twist and use any different spices, how did it turn out for you? If you liked it, made it or just got inspired by this dish, please leave a comment below or even share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #ramonascuisine. I would really want to see your creations! Please do like us on Facebook too! Thank you for stopping by and I do hope you’ll check my blog again to see what’s new, and all my super easy delightful family recipes as well as all the other dishes I come up with! Have a magnificent day! Enjoy!