Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > MADRID STREET FOOD: Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli
All Recipes, Main Dishes / October 1, 2019

MADRID STREET FOOD: Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli

If you´re ever in Madrid, you have to visit La Plaza Mayor. It´s in the heart of the city and filled with restaurants serving some of the best fried calamari in the world. However, each dish of fried calamari is 18€. The thing is, all these restaurants have a side window by the bar. There you can get a fried calamari sandwhich to go for just 3€!! Guys, that is exactly what we´re making today.

Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli
These Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli are the most EPIC sandwiches in Madrid. They´re out-of-this world good, loaded with Spanish flavors and above & beyond easy to make. Traditionally, they´re not served with saffron aioli, I just wanted to take things up a notch 🙂 .

Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli
To make the saffron aioli, I took the mayonnaise short-cut. So much easier than using a raw egg and slowly pouring in olive oil while mixing together. You also wanna make sure you use a great saffron, this is what really flavors the aioli. I used saffron threads from Golden Saffron, seriously one of the best saffrons in the market.

Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli
TIPS & TRICKS to make this recipe: To make the saffron aioli I used low-fat mayo, but you can use either fat free or full fat. The cleaned tubes of squid I used where frozen, you can usually find them in Asian supermarkets. When frying the calamari, use a small fry pan, that way you use less oil to cook them. Make sure to use baguette bread here, this is the magic of a Spanish bocadillo.

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

Watch the Video Below on How to Make these Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli

Fried Calamari Sandwiches with Saffron Aioli

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork



  • 2 cloves garlic roughly minced
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup mayonnasie
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch black pepper


  • 2 tubes cleaned squid
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch black pepper


  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • handful freshly chopped parsley


  1. Add 2 cloves of garlic that have been roughly minced into a mortar and pinch in 1/2 tsp of saffron threads, using a pestle pound down until you form a paste, then add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper, whisk together until well combined, cover with seran wrap and set aside

  2. Rinse 2 cleaned tubes of squid under cold running water (mine where frozen) and pat them completely dry with paper towels, cut 1/2 inch thick rings from each tube of squid

  3. Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour into a clear plastic bag, season generously with sea salt and some freshly cracked black pepper, add the squid rings into the bag and mix together to coat each of the squid rings

  4. Heat a small fry pan with a medium-high heat and add in 1/3 cup of sunflower oil, once the oil get´s hot add the coated squid rings into the pan and cook the squid rings for 90 seconds per side, then transfer to a dish with paper towels, cook in batches to not over-crowd the frying pan

  5. To assemble the sandwiches grab 2 small baguettes and cut them open, spread a generous portion of the saffron aioli on the breads, evenly divide the fried calamari on top of the saffron aioli and sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley, serve at once, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Golden Saffron Threads that I used to make this recipe.

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