Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Tapas > The BEST Fried Calamari of your LIFE | Recipe from Bilbao Spain
All Recipes, Tapas / June 30, 2021

The BEST Fried Calamari of your LIFE | Recipe from Bilbao Spain

Spain is famously known for their fried calamari. However, each region makes them differently. In this post, I will show you how to make fried calamari like they do in the Basque country. We are talking Rabas fritas.

Fried Calamari
These fried calamari have the most incredible textures & flavors, the dish is super easy to make and you can serve them as a tapas appetizer or even as a main course, next to some Spanish potatoes.

Fried Calamari
The beauty of this dish, is that you soak the squid rings in milk for 30 minutes before you cook them. This helps tenderize them while taming their fishy smell.

Fried Calamari
TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: I like to coat the squid rings in flour before I coat them in the batter. This helps the batter stick better to the squid rings. Make sure to use a light vegetable oil with a high heat point. Such as the sunflower oil I used. I also used cleaned frozen tubes of squid that I thawed out. But you can also use fresh squid to make this recipe.

Fried Calamari

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make Spanish Fried Calamari

The BEST Fried Calamari of your LIFE | Recipe from Bilbao Spain

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 3 cleaned tubes of squid
  • 2 cups cold milk 480 ml
  • 1 organic cage-free egg
  • 3/4 cup cold beer 180 ml
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 180 grams
  • 1 cup sunflower oil 250 ml
  • 1 lemon
  • handful finely chopped parsley
  • sea salt


  1. Cut 3 cleaned tubes of squid into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) slices to end up with your squid rings, add them into a casserole dish, making sure they´re all in a single layer, add in some cold milk, enough to just cover the squid rings and add to the fridge

  2. Meanwhile make the batter, crack in 1 egg into a large bowl, along with 1/2 tsp (3 grams) sea salt, whisk together, then add in 3/4 cup cold beer and whisk together, then add in 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour, add it in there a little at a time as you whisk together, once all the flour has been added and you end up with a light and creamy batter with no lumps, add to the fridge

  3. After 30 minutes, remove the squid from the fridge, add 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour into a casserole dish, along with 1/4 tsp (1.5 grams) sea salt, mix together, then transfer the squid rings (shaking off any excess milk) into the casserole dish with the flour, coat the squid rings in the flour mixture

  4. Heat a large fry pan with a medium-high heat and add in 1 cup sunflower oil

  5. While the oil is heating, coat the squid rings in the batter

  6. After heating the oil for 5 minutes, start adding the coated squid rings into the hot oil, making sure to shake off any of the excess batter and making sure they´re all in a single layer (cook in batches), after 1 1/2 minutes flip the squid rings to fry the other side, after another 1 1/2 minutes remove the fried calamari from the pan and transfer into a dish with paper towels, continue to cook the rest of the squid rings in the same format

  7. Once all the squid rings have bee fried, transfer them into a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, enjoy!

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  1. Cynthia

    Will almond milk work? I have an allergy to milk.

    07 . Jun . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Absolutely! Much love 🙂

      07 . Jun . 2023
  2. Gerald Beauchamp

    would soaking the calamari in milk also soften it for use in piaya (sp?)

    30 . Jun . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      No need, as the calamari cook in the broth in a paella 🙂 much love

      01 . Jul . 2021

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