Presented from Issue 98

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 4 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4 entree)

  • 3 (about 600g) large cleaned squid hoods
  • 1L (4 cups) vegetable oil
  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • Lemon wedges and soy sauce with sliced fresh red chilli, to serve


1. Use a sharp knife to cut through 1 side of each squid hood lengthways. Open out flat with inside surface facing up and score surface diagonally. Cut into 3.5cm squares and pat dry with paper towel.

2. Heat the oil in a large wok over medium heat until it reaches 190°C on a confectionary/oil thermometer. (Or, add a 5cm cube of bread to the oil - it should turn light golden in 10 seconds.)

3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, pepper, Chinese five-spice and chilli in a medium bowl. Add the squid and toss gently to coat.

4. Remove half of the squid from the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Add to the oil and cook, turning with a slotted metal spoon, for 2 minutes or until the squid just turns golden and curls. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the squid to a large plate lined with paper towel to drain. Reheat the oil in the wok to 190°C. Repeat with the remaining squid.

5. Serve immediately with the lemon wedges and chilli soy sauce.


Calamari Nutrition

Calamari is a cephalopod related to the octopus, which ranges in size from 1 inch to 80 feet in length. A common preparation and serving method is breaded and fried squid rings. Soaking them in milk prior to breading is said to tenderise the meat. Calamari provides a variety of nutrients that provide health benefits.


The calorie content of an 80 gram serving of squid is relatively low -- 78 calories for uncooked and 149 calories for breaded and fried calamari. The unbreaded preparation style is appropriate for serving as a salad with olive oil and lemon juice or in a fish soup, such as a French bouillabaisse. An 80 gram serving of a fish fillet often provides approximately 150 calories, which twice the amount of unbreaded squid.


The protein content in a 80 gram serving of calamari is 13.2 g unbreaded, and 15.3 g breaded and fried, which is equivalent to the amount in an equivalently portioned white fish fillet. Obtaining an adequate level of dietary protein is important. It repairs tissue in the human body and also provides sustained energy, rather than increasing blood glucose unhealthily, as simple carbohydrates often do.


The minerals in calamari support bone and cardiovascular health. The 188 mg of phosphorus in an 80 gram serving provides 19 percent of the daily value. Phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D work together to build and sustain the skeletal structure. The fluid balance necessary for regulating blood pressure in the body requires 3,500 mg of potassium each day. A serving of calamari provides 6 percent of that total, or 209 mg.


Monitoring your consumption of cholesterol can help prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries, which can impede blood flow, leading to heart attack and stroke. A serving of calamari provides 198 mg of cholesterol per 80 gram serving, which is more than the amount of cholesterol most foods provide. Your total dietary intake of cholesterol should be no more than 300 mg daily, notes Calamari provides two-thirds this amount.

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