Spicy deep-fried calamari with parsley oil


Every New Year’s Day while I was growing up, my mom made calamari with spicy fried rice for the family. She still makes it
today and, even though I’ve moved out of the family home, I still go back to fetch that plate of food. Calamari, for me, is memories
on a plate.

Calamari and spice go so well together. Add a bit of crunch and texture and I could eat it all day. Here the parsley oil balances
with the spicy calamari. Serve it up as a starter, or increase the portion size and serve with some fresh greens as a main. Yum!

Spicy deep-fried calamari with parsley oil
  • 4cups dried breadcrumbs
  • 5 Tbsp Portuguese peri-peri powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • ¼tsp white pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 600 g cleaned calamari tubes and tentacles
  • 2cups canola oil
  • lemon slices to serve(optional)
Parsley OIl
  • 1cup good-quality olive oil
  • 130 g punnet flat-leaf parsleyfinely chopped
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp black pepper
  • 1Tbsp lemon juicefreshly squeezed
  1. Combine the breadcrumbs, peri-peri powder, 1 tsp sea salt and the white pepper in a shallow bowl. Work with your hands to ensure that the seasoning is well mixed into the crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs and add the remaining salt and the black pepper.
  3. Dip the calamari into the egg mixture, and then immediately into the breadcrumb mixture. Ensure that all the calamari is well coated.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat until hot. To test if the oil is ready, drop in a piece of calamari. If the crumbs ‘crackle’ and the calamari floats to the top then the oil is ready. Carefully drop the calamari into the oil – it is recommended you do this in batches. Once it has browned on all sides, remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil.
  5. To make the parsley oil, place the olive oil and all remaining ingredients in the jug of a hand blender and pulse until combined and emulsified. This should take no longer than 30 seconds.
  6. Place the calamari on a serving platter and drizzle with a little of the parsley oil. Serve the rest of the oil on the side, with a few slices of lemon.