Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Tapas > Restaurant-Style Fried Calamari | Calamares Fritos Recipe
All Recipes, Tapas / October 26, 2020

Restaurant-Style Fried Calamari | Calamares Fritos Recipe

Fried calamari, in my opinion, one of the best appetizers ever. We´re talking a succulent interior with a crispy exterior. It just doesn´t get any better. In this post, I´m going to show you how to make Restaurant-Style Fried Calamari. These are not your usual fried calamari, this is the next-level in fried calamari.

This recipe is very easy to make, packs some seriously good flavors and comes together in just 30 minutes. Serve these fried calamari as a tapas dish or even as a main course, next to some french fries and a salad.

I served these fried calamari next to a very simple saffron aioli. I took the mayonnaise short-cut. Makes it so much easier, but the flavors are still right on the money. The secret? Use some high-quality saffron threads. It´s what makes the aioli explode with flavors.

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: I used cleaned frozen tubes of squid that I thawed out. You can easily find these here in Spain. If you can´t find them in your local supermarket. Check with an Asian supermarket. They usually have them in the freezer department.

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make Restaurant-Style Fried Calamari

Restaurant-Style Fried Calamari | Calamares Fritos Recipe

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork



  • 3 cleaned tubes of squid
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 60 grams
  • 2 cage-free organic eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk 15 ml
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs 110 grams
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil 130 ml
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt 3 grams
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 1.15 grams


  • 2 cloves garlic roughly minced
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads .17 grams
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 115 grams
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice 2.5 ml
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 15 ml
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • lemon
  • fresh parsley


  1. Add 1/2 cup all-purpose flour into a bowl, season with a 1/4 tsp of sea salt and mix together

  2. Crack 2 eggs into a separate bowl, pour in 1 tbsp milk and whisk together until well combined

  3. Add 1 cup breadcrumbs into a 3rd separate bowl, season with 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, mix until well combined

  4. Grab 3 cleaned tubes of squid and cut each tube into 1/2 inch pieces to create the rings

  5. To coat the squid rings, first dust off in the flour, then into the egg wash and finally into the breadcrumbs, as you finish each one transfer to a dish, continue until they´re all coated

  6. Heat a large pan with a medium heat and add in a generous 1/2 cup sunflower oil

  7. While the oil is heating make the saffron aioli, add 2 cloves roughly minced garlic into a mortar, along with a 1/4 tsp saffron threads, pound down on the garlic & saffron using a pestle until you form a paste, then add in 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and season with a little sea salt & black pepper, whisk until well combined

  8. Once the oil is hot (about 5 to 6 minutes), start adding the coated squid rings, make sure they´re all in a single layer, so cook in batches, after 90 seconds flip to fry the other side, after another 90 seconds remove from the pan and transfer to a dish with paper towels, heat the oil for 1 minute and then cook your next batch

  9. Add the fried calamari into a serving dish next to the saffron aioli, garnish with lemon wedges and some fresh parsley, serve at once, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Saffron Threads I used to make the Saffron Aioli

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