Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fried calamari with lemon aioli

I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. The host this month is Wandering Chopsticks. If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month.

When I learned lemon was the ingredient for this month's challenge, my thoughts immediately turned towards desserts. I was thinking of napoleons with lemon curd, or something else with lemons and strawberries. But everything that I considered called more for baking than using the wok. I don't recall reading anything in the rules that says a wok must be used, but it did seem it would go against the spirit of the challenge to totally ignore the wok. So I had to rethink things.

Call it squid, calamari, muc, or cumi-cumi, I love it quickly fried and served with a simple sauce. Lemon ailoi with slivers of kaffir lime leaf is a perfect complement to the fried squid. There is the temptation to add too much of the lime leaf, but I think it works best when it is a background note rather than front and center.

Fried Calamari with Lemon Aioli

Clean the squid, separate bodies from tentacles; slice bodies into rings.
Marinate for 15 minutes in a little fish sauce, minced garlic, and black pepper
Dredge drained squid in mixture of cornstarch and rice flour.
Fry briefly (about 30 seconds) in hot oil. Serve with the lemon aioli.

Lemon Aioli

2 egg yolks
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup olive oil
4 tsps lemon juice, or to taste
3 kaffir lime leaves, center vein removed, finely sliced
salt to taste

In blender or food processor, blend yolks, lemon juice, and garlic. With the machine running, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream. Add salt to taste and fold in slivered lime leaves.


  1. A wok isn't required, although I do like it when recipes involve one. :) And I love calamari and aioli so that's even better. I love how perfectly fried and crispy your calamari looks.

    Thanks for participating in Weekend Wokking again!

  2. Thank you for hosting this month's roundup. I look forward to figuring out how to feature each month's chosen ingredient.

  3. Yum!! I'm in such a mood for fried calamari. What's your ratio of cornstarch and rice flour?

  4. nikki,

    I am always in the mood for fried calamari! Just not for frying. I much prefer to fry my own though than get some of those terrible fried abominations that one sometimes get when eating out--rubbery, caked in a nearly impenetrable covering of greasy paste.
    I use a one to one ratio of rice flour to cornstarch.


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