Kalamarakia Tiganita (Extra-Tragana) / Καλαμαράκια Τηγανητά (έξτρα-Τραγανά) (Extra Crunchy Fried Calamari)

How does this website not yet have a recipe for deliciously crispy, golden, fried calamari? I’m not sure why I have waited so long to share these with you and you have my sincere apologies, but it’s finally time to change that. 

Greece is known for their great squid dishes, with fried calamari, or kalamarakia, definitely being the most popular variant at any (psaro)taverna. Ever since moving to Athens I’ve devoured my fair share of these crispy, golden nuggets and I’m still not anywhere near of growing tired of eating them. Really, I believe they should sell these things by the bucket, rather than those cruel little plates – which is why I’d rather make my own big batch of fried calamari at home that can serve as a nice dinner for two served with a bit of salad on the side, or an appetizer, or snack for four… if I’m in a sharing-mood, that is.


I’ve yet to come across someone that doesn’t enjoy a nice piece of golden fried squid. However, if your idea of fried squid is something along the lines of ‘oddly-shaped, chewy rubber bands in a thick soggy crust’ – a sight that is unfortunately not uncommon in restaurants located in the more touristic areas of Greece and some Greek restaurants abroad – and that is what keeps you away from eating calamari, fear no more!

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My recipe for fried calamari here guarantees you end up with a batch of kalamarakia that are extra crunchy on the outside (using a mixture of bread flour and coarse semolina really does the trick), pleasantly chewy rather than rubbery on the inside, and dangerously addictive – which is a good thing, right?


Note: For this recipe, it doesn’t really matter whether you use fresh, or frozen squid, as long as the squid are medium to medium-large in size. It works best if the squid have a mantle length of roughly 20 – 25cm (excluding head and tentacles), though slightly bigger, or smaller will work as well.


Kalamarakia Tiganita (Extra-Tragana) / Καλαμαράκια Τηγανητά (έξτρα-Τραγανά) (Extra Crunchy Fried Calamari)

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  • DF
Extra crunchy deep-fried squid rings (calamari)
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:12 mins
  • Serves:2
  • Freezable:No

Nutrition per portion

  • 500g squid, gutted and cleaned
  • 150g bread flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 50g (coarse) semolina
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons water, if necessary
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  1. Prepare the squid: If your squid has not yet been cleaned, separate the head from the body by pulling on the tentacles. Cut in-between the eyes and tentacles to separate them. Discard the guts, but keep aside the tentacles. Cut the rest of the body of the squid into 1cm to 1.5cm-wide rings. Rinse squid under cold, running water.
  2. Prepare flour mixture: In a bowl, mix bread flour, semolina and salt. Mix well to combine.
  3. Coat the squid: Add the squid rings and tentacles to the bowl with the flour mixture. Toss to coat and use your hands to mix the ingredients well. Make sure the squid has some moisture to them and/or add 2 – 3 tablespoons of water. The purpose of adding a little water is just to let the flour stick to the squid better and to create little ‘lumpy’ bits (see photo in post) that will fry up nice and crispy – not to make a totally liquid batter!
  4. Heat up the oil for frying: In a Dutch oven, or fryer, heat up enough oil so that you can submerge a small batch of the calamari. Use a thermometer to see if the oil is hot enough for frying (about 190°C). If you haven’t got a thermometer, check if the oil is hot enough for frying by sticking in a wooden chopstick: if you can see a steady bubbling around the chopstick, the oil is ready.
  5. Fry the calamari: When the oil is hot, fry the coated calamari in small batches for 1 – 2 minutes max., or until golden brown (Don’t overcook! If the calamari take too long to turn golden, raise the temperature of the oil a bit more).
  6. Transfer the fried calamari to paper towels to drain off the oil. Check one calamari to see if it’s seasoned to your taste. If not, sprinkle on some extra salt while the calamari are hot from the oil.
  7. Serve hot with some lemon wedges on the side.
  Note: This recipe serves 2 people as a main, or 4 people as an appetizer/snack, but can easily be doubled, or tripled to serve larger groups, or parties!

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