Calamares a la Romana: Fried Squid

Calamares fritos
Fotoasturias/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 appetizer servings (serves 8)
Ratings (10)

Fried squid, or in Spanish calamares fritos, is a very popular appetizer or tapa in Spain as well as here in the USA. You might also know this dish by the name Calamares a la Romana. Either way, it has become an extremely popular item on appetizer menus in restaurants everywhere. But wouldn't it be great to make your own?

You can use fresh or frozen squid, which can be found in most grocery stores in the frozen food section, roughly a dozen to a box. (If your market does not carry it, ask at the fish counter or the butcher to order it for you.) Perhaps your grocery store's seafood department carries squid, or if you are lucky enough to live near an Asian market, visit them to see their fresh fish and seafood selection, where you will most likely find fresh squid. If possible, ask that the squid is cleaned before you purchase and take home. Cleaned, frozen squid bodies may also be available and are good to make large calamar rings.

What You'll Need

  • 2 lbs. squid (preferably cleaned)
  • 24 to 32 oz. Spanish olive oil (for frying)
  • 1/4 lb. (or more) flour (all-purpose)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon (cut into 8 pieces)

How to Make It

  1. Wherever and however you buy the squid, they need to be cleaned before cooking. The spines, ink sacks and heads should be discarded. If you are cleaning the squid yourself, don’t throw away the tentacles because those are good to eat, too! 
  2. Once the squid is cleaned, dry them thoroughly. Cut the squid bodies into rings.
  3. Pour 1/2-inch of olive oil into a large open frying pan and put on high heat for frying, but be careful that the oil does not smoke.
  1. Put the flour and a bit of salt into a large plastic bag. Place a few pieces of squid into the bag and shake to cover with flour. Remove the rings one at a time with your hands and carefully place in the hot oil. Continue to cover pieces in flour and add to the frying pan. Do not crowd the pan, leaving enough room in the pan to turn over squid rings if necessary.
  2. Fry until the rings turn golden. When done, remove the squid rings from pan and allow to drain on a paper towel. Serve hot with lemon.