Sometimes, a simple recipe, one that leaves the main ingredient in a near-pure form, is the best! Fried Squid Rings is such a recipe; with the help of a few seasonings and condiments, these are quickly fried so that they are super tender and most certainly super flavourful!
FRIED SQUID RINGS
Have you ever had overcooked seafood? I have! It’s probably the reason why I don’t care that much for seafood dishes. Take for example, the classic fish and chips. In order to get the batter crispy, the fish inside is sometimes cooked to the point that it has become rubbery. Fried Squid Rings are one of the seafood dishes that can easily be overcooked. And, if so, they are like chewing on rubber, and nobody wants that!
If you follow this recipe exactly the way it is written, I promise you that your squid will be tender too. When it comes to deep fried fish, I do make it from time to time. I promise, I will get it posted to Lord Byron’s Kitchen soon. Most often, I bake fish rather than fry it. It’s certainly easier to clean up!
The three most common types of fish I cook are salmon, cod, and tilapia. My Sriracha Honey Lime Salmon, my Baked Cod with Lemon and Capers, and finally, my Lemon Garlic Tilapia, can be found by clicking on the links. And, if you’re looking for battered squid rings, or calamari, be sure to check out my Old Bay Fried Calamari!
FROZEN VERSUS FRESH SQUID
Unless you know of a good fishmonger, you will most likely be purchasing your squid from the frozen section at your local grocery store. That’s just how I got these. Use a trusted brand and purchase only squids that are in a see-through package! Otherwise, you’re likely to end up with a large percentage of just tentacles.
Now, if you’re able to do so, buy fresh squid that has been already cleaned and cut into rings. It’s certainly easier and less messy to do it that way. However, if you want the freshest squid you can get, you might have to learn how to clean it yourself. I’ve cleaned many squid when I was younger. And, I’ve cleaned a few in my adult years. I’ll walk you through it. It’s not a pleasant task and if you’re squeamish at all, skip on over to the next paragraph now.
HOW TO PREPARE SQUID
First, position your thumb and finger down into the neck of the squid. On either side, you’ll feel a little connective tissue. Get your thumb and finger right up against it and forcefully twist. This will break the tissue. You’re then able to pull the head off and it should pull most of the innards with it.
You can discard this entirely, or you can cut off the tentacles and fry them with the rings when ready. I’m not a fan of the tentacles, so I always discard them. The next thing to do is to remove the tail. Firmly grasp the tail from the widest end and break through the connective tissue with your thumb and finger. Pull it off and discard.
Next, turn the body of the squid inside out. The easiest way is to push the narrow end up into the cavity and out the top, open end. Remove any small, clear bones. Using a knife, gently scrape the interior of the squid to remove any leftover tissue. Turn the squid out so that the reddish brown skin is on the outside again.
YOU’RE ALMOST DONE! HERE’S THE HARDEST PART!
This next step is the hardest part. I always hate removing the skin! Here’s how I do it. Cut about a half inch off the narrow end. Insert the sharp end of your knife under the skin where you made the cut. Cut in an upward motion, away from the flesh. You should now be able to peel the skin off. It’s tedious and takes practice.
Once the body of the squid is free of skin, lay the tubular squid flat and slice off the top 1/4 inch to completely get rid of any skin. Now, you’re ready to slice the squid into slices. You’ve just prepared calamari!! Congratulations. How many more of these do you want to do? Now, you understand why I prefer to buy them already cleaned.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Squid – You will need four pounds of rings, so account for that if you buy fresh squid and get a couple extra!
- Butter – Frying seafood in butter should be a law. It’s so much more flavourful with butter.
- Olive Oil – I add the olive oil because it has a higher smoking point. This just means that the oil will prevent the butter from burning.
- Onion – Seafood and onion pair together so well.
- Garlic – This is not a traditional thing to add to Newfoundland-inspired squid rings, but it does add flavour.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This adds smokiness, saltiness, and tanginess.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce – For flavour and colour; using low sodium soy sauce is important, otherwise, the rings might be too salty.
- Dark Soy Sauce – Used for flavour as well, but really deepens the colour without having to fry the rings for a long period of time. Dark Soy Sauce is also sweeter than regular soy sauce and thicker too.
- Seasonings – Fried Squid Rings can use a lot of ground black pepper, but season carefully with salt, especially if you use regular soy sauce and/or salted butter.
Fried Squid Rings
- 4 pounds frozen or fresh squid rings (often called calamari rings)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- If using frozen squid rings, be sure they are fully thawed before cooking.
- Over medium-high heat, add the butter, olive oil, and onions to a large skillet. Cook the onions until lightly browned – about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir into the onions. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the squid rings and ground black pepper. Stir well into the butter and onion mixture. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
- Lastly, add the Worcestershire sauce, low sodium soy sauce, and dark soy sauce. Toss the squid to coat well with the sauces.
- Continue to cook for one minute. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
- Plate and garnish. Serve immediately.