Crispy Thai Calamari, hot, sweet, and delicious!
Over the years I have seen my husband order and enjoy calamari. I’ve never been a fan; didn’t like the chewy rings that seemed rubbery to me and even though its was fried I would take my “one good bite” and be done with it.
On our Michigan trip this past summer we stopped for lunch at Firefly Grill in Traverse City. This is the same restaurant that I had the Blackberry Bramble cocktail that I posted a couple of weeks ago. We ordered a few appetizers for lunch and Thai Calamari was one of them along with some dumplings and something else that didn’t stick in my mind like the calamari did.
Sweet, hot, crispy strips (not rings) of calamari, deep fried and then tossed with some julienned carrots and the whole thing tossed with some sweet chili thai sauce (just like the one I buy in a bottle at the grocery and use in a lot of different recipes then sprinkled with some black and white sesame seeds. Firefly sprinkled some thinly sliced green onions over their calamari appetizer.
I decided I wanted to make an orange gremalota to sprinkle over the dish. Gremalota is simply chopped herbs with some garlic and citrus added in; if you don’t want to go to the trouble, just top with thinly sliced onions, that is the way Firefly served it.
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Calamari cut into long strips instead of rings soak in juice of 2 lemons for about 30 minutes.
All the ingredients for the gremalota.
Add the paprika, cayenne and a little extra salt to the self rising flour. Then you are going to dip the calamari first in some plain self rising flour, then add it to the milk, then dip in the seasoned flour. Line up on platter and get your oil hot.
We fried these on our low burner in the outdoor kitchen.
Put the fried calamari in a bowl and drizzle the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce over it. Use as much as you want. You can either do it this way and toss the calamari in the bowl or if you don’t want it totally covered then put the calamari on platter and just drizzle on whatever you want.
Sprinkle with the gremalota and the julienned carrots and some black and white sesame seeds.
Crispy Calamari Strips with Orange Thai Gremalota
- Calamari cut into a little over 1/4" wide strips (not rings)
- 1 cup self rising flour
- 2 c. self rising flour
- juice of two lemons
- 1 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- lime wedges garnish
- oil for frying
- julienned carrot strips
- black and white sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4-5 thinly sliced green onions
- 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/2 cup thai sweet chili sauce
Cut the calamari into thin strips (not rings). Soak the calamari strips in the lemon juice for about 30 minutes. Put the one cup of SR flour in one bowl and milk in a second bowl and put the self rising flour and salt and pepper to taste in a third bowl. Add the calamari strips first to the first bowl of flour then dip it in milk and then add to second bowl of seasoned self rising flour and turn to coat all sides. Put out on wax paper lined tray until ready to cook.
Heat the oil to about 350°. When hot add the calamari to pan. Don't put too many in at once. Brown until golden in color. Remove and drain on wire rack.
Take the fried calamari strips and drizzle with at least 1/2 cup of the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and then add sprinkle on the gremalota, carrots and the black and white sesame seeds.
To make gremalota, mix the parsley, green onions, orange rind, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.