Thursday 2 May 2013

Gluten Free Calamari

Crispy Gluten Free Calamari
I've made Calamari a few times since being gluten free but I've never felt it was good enough to post as a recipe. Thanks to finally nailing my all purpose batter I now have Calamari good enough to share, it's so good and really easy to make.

To make around 20 large rings.


2 Large Squid Tubes
1 Cup Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (must have xanthan gum in it, we use Doves Farm)
1 Cup Cold Water
Large Pinch of Sea Salt
Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying (Crisp N Dry is great)

  • The squid tubes should be clean and ready to use but you may find that the cartilage is still in tact, if so remove by pulling it out
  • Cut the tubes into 1cm thick rings, at this stage you might start to see stringy skin as you cut, if so pull at it to remove, it's likely to cover the entire tube so be thorough or else the squid will be chewy
squid rings
Squid Rings
  • Dry with paper towel then put on a plate to one side
  • Put your flour, water and salt in a flat bottomed container and mix together until smooth
gluten free batter
Works Every Time
  • Heat oil in a large pan on high, oil should be halfway up the pan height
  • When you think the oil is hot enough take a fork dip into the batter mix and drop a small blob into the oil. If the batter immediately rises to the top of the oil it's hot enough, it it doesn't heat for longer and test again
  • Put some of the squid rings into the batter mix and coat thoroughly
  • Add each one carefully to the hot oil using a fork or slotted spoon and cook for 2 minutes turning halfway through, don't over crowd the pan
  • Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper
gluten free calamari
Gluten Free Calamari
  • Fry in batches until all the squid is cooked

Easy huh? So long as the oil is hot enough you'll have perfect gluten free Calamari every time. The batter is crispy yet light and the Calamari is soft and melt in the mouth.

I made the batter plain for some of the Calamari in order to document for the recipe, I wanted a true gluten free adaptation but what I did for the rest was add fresh Chilli. 

Just A Little Heat
I used a medium heat Chilli to give a bit of a kick but not to overpower the flavour of the squid.

chilli batter
Chilli Batter
After this photo was taken I was escorted to the bathroom for an Optrex eye bath. Yes I had chilli eye, you would think this was the first chilli I'd ever handled, but not so. Thank f@£$ it wasn't Habenero.

After quite a few minutes of not being able to open my eye I battled through the sting and cooked the Chilli Calamari with very watery and hazy lopsided vision. Turned out great though.

chilli calamari
Calamari In Chilli Batter
Interestingly for me I just remembered that I photo documented the original gluten free Calamari recipe but like I said before, I didn't feel it was good enough to share and it wasn't. If you want to see just how my batter has evolved check out the Calamari in the old batter and compare with the new super duper improved version. No comparison!

bad calamari
There was fresh Parsley in the batter in case you're wondering why the green bits. Between the two versions there really is no contest and that's why I never posted the recipe to accompany the above photo, I knew I could do better.
gluten free calamari
That's the one thing I enjoy about being gluten free, the need for experimentation in cooking. It's a constant quest for me, keeps me out of trouble ;)

What's great about Calamari is that you can add anything you want to the batter for a variation, herbs, spices, chilli, whatever you feel would add to the flavour.

We always serve ours with Aioli which The Glutenite is in charge of preparing, it's a tough job!

The Beginning
hellmans mayonnaise gluten free
Light?! Well I have To Cut Corners Somewhere, Have You Seen My Comfort Foods?

Brief Glimpse Of The Glutenite's Hand
The Result
Aioli By The Glutenite
I probably shouldn't share this but I will. Aioli always reminds me of the early days of The Glutenite and I, before we lived together. We would often share a basket of chips with a side of Aioli when out drinking late and I'd take great pleasure in seductively dipping my chips then making overstated faces when nibbling on them in a suggestive manner. Garlic breath never hurt anyone :)

Annnyway, I am in possession of Douchi (Fermented Black Beans), I finally got hold of them at our local Oriental shop so that's what I'm experimenting with this evening. If it turns out good I'll share tomorrow.

Countdown to the long weekend commencing.

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