How To Get Tender Calamari

How To Get Tender Calamari

Calamari is a winner of an inclusion to our fish and chip nights.  Both boys eat it without complaints and I just absolutely can’t get enough of it.  Last Friday night’s Fakeaway was fish, chips and calamari and while I cheated and bought frozen fish and frozen chips I did make the calamari and I make it tender and flavoursome.

The trick to getting calamari tender so the littlies don’t complain about it being chewy etc is to marinate it first.  I learned this trick from my mum, she would gut the whole squid into rings and then marinate in a combination of kiwi fruit, milk and garlic.

The kiwi fruit contains enzymes that break down the collagen in meat/seafood therefore making it more tender and the calcium in the milk acts in the same way.  Garlic  is added for flavour.


1 Kiwi fruit, peeled and mashed
1 Cup Milk
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
3 Squid Tubes, cut into rings

For crumbing

Dry Breadcrumbs
Plain Flour
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Milk

Oil, for cooking (I use light olive oil or sunflower oil)


  1. In a large glass bowl mix together the kiwi fruit, milk and garlic.
  2. Add the squid rings and mix through.  Cover with clingwrap and place in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.  Can be left all day or even overnight.How To Get Tender Calamari
  3. When ready to cook, take the marinated squid out of the fridge.  Some people prefer to rinse the squid at this point to remove the kiwi fruit etc. however I leave it as is, you can easily shake the rings as you remove them from the marinade.
  4. Set up a crumb station: plain flour, egg whisked together with milk and breadcrumbs.
  5. Take a squid ring from the marinade and shake off excess, dust in flour, dip in the egg wash and then press into the breadcrumb to coat evenly.  Repeat until all the squid is crumbed.How To Get Tender Calamari
  6. Place a large frypan over a high heat.  Add enough oil to form a 3mm layer over the surface.  Once hot gently place the squid rings in cooking until golden on one side, then turn and cook until golden on the other.  (about 1 minute each side).  Remove from the frypan and place on a paper towel on a plate to soak up any excess oil.  Continue until all the squid rings are cooked.

Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy straight after cooking.

Serves 4+

The cooked calamari is best eaten straight after cooking.

It can be eaten cold the next day but it won’t be crunchy.

**As most squid tubes you purchase have been frozen and then defrosted I don’t recommend refreezing at any point.

How To Get Tender Calamari How To Get Tender Calamari

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