If you agree with me that squid tentacles are the best part of the squid, then you will love this recipe! These pan-fried squid tentacles are crispy, crunchy, and savoury. They make the perfect summertime snack or an easy weeknight meal.
I have a somewhat controversial opinion of squid or calamari tubes. I don’t really like that part of the animal. In the past, when I’d order fried squid as an appetizer or even a main course, I usually picked out the tentacles and left the rest to whoever was dining with me. In my opinion, the tentacles are the best part. I would rather eat the tentacles alone and not be stuck with the rest of the squid. So, when I found only squid tentacles being sold at the supermarket, I bought them immediately. They were frozen, which I don’t mind too much because I believe it’s the next best thing after flappingly-alive fresh.
Squid tentacles were a challenge for my husband, but he ended up liking them well enough. He didn’t grow up eating lots of seafood and he’s generally a cautious eater when it comes to new foods. In fact, I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ve expanded his palate considerably in the years we’ve been together. But tentacles look like alien creatures, something straight out of a dystopian sci-fi horror movie (my favourite kind of movie!). They look a little creepy. I, with my weird sense of humour, absolutely love that!
If you’re afraid of squid tentacles, don’t be! They may look a bit scary but they taste delicious no matter how you make them. Squid is a great source of lean protein, so if you are on a low-carb diet or looking to increase your lean protein intake, then it’s a great option. Another great thing about squid is that it tends to be quite cheap, so it’s a great, affordable and mostly sustainable source of protein to add to the menu. An added bonus is that it is very delicious too!
- 500 grams of squid tentacles, either frozen (and then thawed overnight in the fridge) or fresh.
- Half a cup of all purpose white flour
- One teaspoon of fine table salt
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- Half a teaspoon each of chilli flakes and cumin powder
- Half a cup of canola oil for frying
- One large zucchini, a large carrot, one tomato, one ripe nectarine, three apricots, one stalk of spring onion.
- Juice of one lime
- Two tablespoons olive oil
- One clove of fresh garlic, crushed or finely chopped.
- One teaspoon honey
- Salt to taste
- Two tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint and basil
- Additional lime wedges for serving, optional.
- Rinse the tentacles in cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel
- Mix the flour, salt, chilli flakes, garlic powder, cumin on a flat plate with a fork.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan
- Dip the squid tentacles into the flour mixture and cover each one thoroughly with flour.
- When the oil is very hot, gently place the tentacles in the frying pan, try to avoid crowding the pan.
- Fry each tentacle for two minutes on each side or until nice and crispy.
- Remove to a plate with a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
- For the salad: spiralize the zucchini and carrot, mix with chopped tomato, spring onion, apricot, nectarine. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, lime juice, chopped basil and mint, chopped garlic, honey and salt. Drizzle over the vegetables and mix thoroughly. I recommend making the salad right before frying the squid. Serve all together with some extra lime wedges that you can squeeze onto the fried squid. Enjoy!
Do you like squid? What’s your favourite part? The tentacles or the tubes? Let me know in the comments!
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