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Fried and crispy calamari rings on a wooden board with lemon wedges on the side.

Crispy Fried Calamari Recipe

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5 from 1 review

Crispy Fried Calamari are dredged in a flavorful Chinese five-spice cornstarch coating, and quickly deep-fried until golden-brown and tender. It's the perfect seafood appetizer for any occasion!

  • Total Time: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale

Dipping Sauce


  1. After defrosting the calamari, cut into 3/4-inch rings if they are whole. Place the milk and salt into a large bowl and stir well. Add the calamari and let soak for 30 minutes, up to two hours. Drain the milk from the bowl.
  2. In a heavy wok or saucepan, heat 3 to 4 inches of the oil until very hot, to around 350 F to 375 F degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, whisk together the corn starch, Chinese Five Spice, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  4. In another shallow bowl, add the beaten eggs. Set up an assembly line with the three bowls.
  5. Working in batches, dip the calamari into the eggs, then dredge into cornstarch mixture, and shake off any excess.
  6. Add the dredged calamari in batches into the oil, and fry until crisp and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. (To ensure the oil is hot enough, if the oil bubbles and forms around the calamari ring, and the calamari ring floats, then the oil is ready!)
  7. Remove calamari with a slotted spoon and let drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat the process with the rest of the calamari.
  8. Sprinkle salt on the fried calamari as soon as it comes out of the pan. Keep the tray in the oven until ready to serve.
  9. Garnish with the fresh cilantro, and serve with the dipping sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

To make the dipping sauce: Whisk together the mayonnaise, sambal oelek, and sweet chili sauce. Serve on the side with the fried calamari.


  • If buying frozen calamari, defrost in the sealed bag in the fridge overnight. Or, if you're pressed for time, you can place the calamari in a large bowl under cool running water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drain once it's no longer frozen.
  • Maintain an optimal oil temperature of 350 F to 375 F.  At this high heat, the calamari will brown and crisp right away, keeping the squid tender on the inside.
  • To ensure the oil is hot enough, if the oil bubbles and forms around the calamari ring, and the calamari ring floats, then the oil is ready!
  • If you can't find sambal oelek, you can substitute with sriracha sauce.
  • Author: Asian Caucasian
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Cook Top
  • Cuisine: Asian Fusion


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 398
  • Sugar: 1.6 g
  • Sodium: 512.2 mg
  • Fat: 26.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.6 g
  • Protein: 15.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 272.7 mg