Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Tapas > EXTRA-CRISPY FRIED CALAMARI With Cheat SAFFRON AIOLI
All Recipes, Tapas / March 20, 2020


I hope that you are all doing well, times are tough right now, but eating well doesn´t have to be. In this post, I will show you how to make EXTRA-CRISPY FRIED CALAMARI With Cheat SAFFRON AIOLI. This is an extremely popular taspas dish here in Spain, and I´m gonna show you how to easily make it at home.

To make the calamari, I used cleaned tubes of squid. Very easy to find here in Spain, even right now while the supermarket shelfs are flying. If you can´t find them that easily in your supermarket, check with a local Asian supermarket. They usually have them in the freezer department. 

For the cheat saffron aioli, I used mayonnaise instead of raw eggs. This makes it so much easier, but the flavors are still right on the money. I also used some high-quality saffron. Don´t use the fake or cheap stuff here, otherwise the aioli won´t have that magical flavor.

TIPS & TRICKS to make this Recipe: I like to coat my squid rings one at a time, this is a bit more time consuming, but allows for each squid ring to be perfectly coated. I used sunflower oil to fry the squid rings, but you can use any type of vegetable oil that you like. However, don´t use extra virgin olive oil, as the oil is too thick and the squid rings will come out soggy vs crunchy.

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make EXTRA-CRISPY FRIED CALAMARI With Cheat SAFFRON AIOLI

5 from 2 votes


Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 3 tubes cleaned squid
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 organic cage-free eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup sunflower oil


  1. To make the saffron aioli, add 2 cloves roughly minced garlic into a mortar, pinch in 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads and using a pestle pound down until you form a paste, then add in 1/2 cup mayonnaise into the mortar, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt & black pepper, whisk together until well combined, cover with seran wrap and set aside

  2. Pat down 3 cleaned tubes of squid (I bought mine frozen and thawed them out) with paper towels, then cut each tube of squid into 1/2 inch thick rings

  3. Add a generous 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour into a bowl, a 1/4 cup of cornstarch and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together, in a seperate bowl crack in 2 eggs, season with sea salt and whisk together

  4. To coat each squid ring, dip each one into the flour mixture, then into the egg wash and then back into the flour mixture, continue until all the squid rings are coated

  5. Heat a large fry pan with a medium-high heat and add in 1 cup of sunflower oil, after 4 minutes and the oil is very hot, start adding the coated squid rings into the pan, cook in batches to not over-crowd the pan, after 60 to 90 seconds flip the squid rings to fry the other side, after a total cooking time of 2 1/2 to 3 minutes remove the fried calamari from the pan and transfer to a dish with paper towels, continue to cook in batched until done

  6. Add the fried calamari into a serving dish, transfer the saffron aioli into a serving bowl and add to the plate with the fried calamari, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Saffron Threads I used to Make this Recipe

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