I love calamari, hot, crunchy, salty, meltingly tender and redolent of the sea. We weren’t that big on seafood in my family so the first time I tried this was with the hubby bear and needless to say our favourite restaurant became one that would do me a gluten free version to his standard one. But that was all pre-Paleo days… We figured that crispy fried joy was not something we’d enjoy again on our new eating plan, however after getting my head into the new ingredients that were available to me I discovered tapioca starch. This comes from the root of the manioc plant, blah, blah, blah. Key things; it’s Paleo friendly and you can use it to make Paleo Calamari. Cool!
INGREDIENTS (makes 4 serves)
500g squid tubes, frozen are fine, but however you get them, make sure they’re really dry before you start
1 Cup of tapioca starch
1 teaspoon of finely ground salt
Good grinding of black pepper
1 Cup coconut oil
Paper towels – not something I’d usually list as an ingredient, but trust me they’re key
4 Tablespoons of Awesome Aioli (see archive for recipe)
1 quantity of roasted kumara (see archive)
1 quantity of beetroot and carrot slaw (see archive – I personally would leave the walnuts out for this, but up to you)
Slice the squid into rings approx. 1cm wide and toss in the tapioca starch, salt and pepper to coat well.
Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy based pan over a high heat. When you think it’s getting hot enough, drop a tiny bit of the squid in to see what it does. The oil should seethe around it. The higher the heat the less oil will be absorbed by the coating and the crisper it will be, plus coconut oil is a great option for high temperature cooking. When you’re confident the oil is hot enough carefully drop the squid rings in. Make sure you don’t crowd your pan, leave them enough room to cook. They take about 4 mins each side. I use a pair of long kitchen tongs to flip them over and you really wouldn’t want to get any closer than that to the hot oil! You can tell when they’ve crisped up by the feel under the tongs. Carefully lift them out and drain on at least a double thickness of paper kitchen towels. Repeat until you’ve cooked and drained all your squid rings, then quickly plate up with your kumara and slaw and top with a big, delicious dollop of aioli (you’ll see from the piccy that the weather was nasty last night and I didn’t go out and get any herbs to go in mine!!) and serve ASAP!