Fried calamari with honey-soy reduction
It's sweet. It's spicy. It's a little bit sticky! A rift on calamari that’s finger lickin' delicious!
Finding fresh calamari that's already cleaned makes this dish easy to prepare! If you find calamari consisting of both the bodies and the tentacles... all the better... it adds to the overall texture, taste and presentation of the dish!
Fried calamari with honey-soy reduction, toasted pine nuts and raisins
- 1 pound calamari, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch circles, patted dry
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2-3 cups canola or vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey (plus more for taste if needed)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 6-8 dried red chili peppers (optional)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- In a medium nonreactive bowl, add buttermilk and stir in the raw calamari. Allow calamari to marinate in the buttermilk, 30-45 minutes.
- While calamari is soaking, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic and dried chilies. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has thickened and reduced by half, about 10-12 minutes. Taste and adjust flavor only if necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium pot, begin heating the vegetable or canola oil to 360-370 degrees F. While oil is heating, dab the calamari dry with paper towels, place the flour (with a good pinch of salt and pepper) into a large zip-closed bag and shake well to mix. Add calamari to the bag with the flour and shake again to entirely coat the calamari rings with the flour mixture.
- Shaking off the excess flour, fry calamari in batches (careful not to overcrowd the pot) until light golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels or brown paper bag and continue until all calamari is fried.
- Add fried calamari to a large bowl and toss with the honey-soy reduction sauce. Toss in the toasted pine nuts and raisins. Taste and salt and pepper only if needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley and fresh lemon juice if desired and serve.
No buttermilk? Make it homemade! Just add 9 teaspoons of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice to 2 cups of milk, stir and allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes! Simple.