Calamari Fritto con Basilico

by Dawn T in Rouxbe Recipes

This light and crispy calamari is marinated with basil, garlic and a hint of chipotle pepper.

  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins

  • Comments: 26
  • Views: 38569
  • Success 97%

Step 1: Preparing and Marinating the Calamari

Preparing and Marinating the Calamari

To make the marinade, mince the garlic and chiffonade the basil. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the garlic, basil, chipotle pepper purée, egg, and milk. Set aside.

Clean the squid and cut into approximately 1/2" -inch rings.
Add the squid to the marinade and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp chipotle pepper purée (or more to taste)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 lb squid

Step 2: Cooking and Serving the Calamari

Cooking and Serving the Calamari

Heat the oil in a fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pot to 375° degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large, flat bowl.

Dice the onion, slice the lime, and chop the herbs; set aside.

Strain the squid from the marinade and place half into the seasoned flour. Toss, shake off the excess flour and carefully add to the hot oil. Fry for about 20 or 30 seconds and drain onto paper towels.

While the calamari is still hot, season with a bit more salt. Place onto a platter and garnish with half of the onions and parsley. Continue with the second batch, garnish and serve with the lime wedges.

Note: Don't overcrowd the oil when frying. Also, make sure the oil comes back up to temperature before you add the second batch.

For a dipping sauce, Tzatziki goes well with this calamari.

  • 6 cups peanut oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sea or grey salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley (or basil)
  • 1 whole lime or lemon
Dave W

Calamari Fritto Con Basilico

Looks fabulous...could taste it in my mind while watching the instruction!

Jessica W

Calamari Fritto Con Basilico

Looks delicious...must try that today. thanks!

Brian and ching B

I love calamari!

She makes it look so easy! =P

Steve D


Experimenting with this recipe for the first time, I substituted the chipolte peppers with Asian chilli pasted, then followed the recipe to the letter. Absolutely amazing!

James P

Chipotle pepper puree

This looks delicious and I'm dying to make it, yet I've searched everywhere for Chipotle pepper puree but have been unsuccessful in finding it.

I'm not a resident of the US so finding some ingredients is difficult. What can i use as a substite assuming I can't find Asian chilli pasted either which Steve D mentioned as a substitute in his post?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Chipotle Peppers

If you cannot find chipotle peppers where you live, you could order them online. If you buy the ones in a can, they will last you for a very long time.

You can watch the drilldown called "What are Chipotle Peppers?", to see how to store freeze them.

As for substitutions, you could try a jalapeño for heat and a bit of smoked paprika for that smoky flavor.

Iain G

Great Success

I was able to make the calamari with sushi-fresh squid! I love the spice and smoky combo.

As Dawn suggested, I used a Chinese red-chili paste along with a few dashes of liquid smoke.

Loved it!


Ali B


Amazing Dawn. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

My question is can we replace the squid with clean shrimps? I am intending to try but will shrimps need the same time to cook or more?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Yum! Shrimp. Good idea :)

Depending on the size of the shrimp (see How to Buy Fresh Prawns), yes... you will need more time. Calamari cook very quickly. When people ask me how long things will take, I usually just say "until they are done", meaning... check them. Just take one out of the fat, cut it open and it should be cooked through. Good luck. Let us know who it goes. D

Ad R


I tried this recipe for Easter and it was a hit. We still have half of the battered squid in the fridge. Is it still safe to eat? It doesn't smell off.


Ad R

little note

I used "prepared squid"

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

Shelf Life of Squid

Seafood is highly perishable and does not have a long shelf life. You may not be able to smell that it has gone off because it is in a batter. Your safest bet is to discard it. Fish and shellfish should be purchased and consumed the same day or, if stored properly, a couple of days after that (max). No need to risk getting sick.

Eliza M

I made this one last weekend!!

I couldnt find the puree chipotle ,so i bought the whole chipotle and just cut it into little piece,small as possible (reason for that i didnt have the food processor)

I liked it cause it had alittle hint of spice

Greg B

Could not find the chipotle pepper puree

I did, however, find ground chipotle pepper at whole foods (surprisingly they didn't have anything closer to the puree). Since this was for the marinade, I tried to mix the dry pepper in. It didn't dissolve very well even though I only put in 1 tbsp. It was pretty spicy.

The overall dish was very good. I must add though, 1 lb. of squid is quite a bit and was way too much for even 4 of us even as an appetizer. Next time i'd probably use 1/2 lb. with the majority of bodies and not as much tentacles.

Laura T

Can small shrimp work?

Do you think that small, shelled, headless shrimp would work with this recipe? I have some small headless precooked shrimp from the store in my freezer:)

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Using Small Shrimp Instead of Calamari

You could use shrimp instead of squid; however I would use raw shrimp (or prawns) instead of cooked. I would save your already cooked shrimp for something else. Cheers!

Jane G

Batter not crispy

Squid is tender and tasty, but the batter is not crispy enough. Where did I go wrong? I used Canola oil and the temperature was at 375 degrees.

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Crispy Calamari

Make sure not to dump the squid in at once, but in small batches so it has a nice sizzle. Also, be sure you do not pile the squid up after it comes out of the fryer...and be sure to serve to drain it well after frying and then serve it immediately.

Squid is small and requires very little cooking to get tender so you could also even try raising the oil temp to 400 F to get a crispier crust while not over-cook the squid. Cheers!

Martine B


How can ùi substitute flour in this recipe ? I'm Gluten and grain free!

Thanks for your help

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Flour Substitution

I was going to suggest substituting cornstarch or rice flour (1:1), however, these are technically grains. You could try tapioca flour but we have not tested this ourselves. Keep in mind that making these substitutions will change the final result, so you'll need to do some experimenting to see what you like and can tolerate. Cheers!

Juan jesus R

Chipotle peppers

Chiipotle peppers are very spicy? soft, medium.....
Thanks a lot

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Chipotle Peppers

A drill-down on Chipotle Peppers is attached to this recipe. You will find it on the Related Videos tab. Cheers!

Juan jesus R

RE: Chipotle peppers

Thank you very much!

Juan jesus R

Calamari fritto

I couldn’t find chipotle and I made some substitution, delicious recipe.
I have two questions regarding marinate. What it’s the contribution of the egg to marinate? If I have squids marinating more than half an hour I’ll get a softer texture?
Thanks for your help

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Calamari Fritto

Glad that you liked the recipe Juan. Next time, you may want to try to find the chipotle peppers as they do add nice flavor. If you can't find them locally, they can be ordered online.

To answer questions. I will point you to the "How to Marinate Foods" lesson and also to the "Breading and Battering" lesson. There we go into more detail about the purpose of an egg.

In this case it's a bit different, as the calamari is not being placed into an egg mixture before it is dredge in flour, but it's basically the same reason it is in the marinade.

As for the marinating times, if you marinate something longer, it does not mean it will become softer or more tender. Check out the topic on "Marinating Times" for more details here. If you have any other questions, let us know. Cheers!

Juan jesus R

Re: Calamari Fritto

Thank you Dawn for your kind E-mail.

Now I did my homework :) Everything is clear after watching both video lessons.

Just waiting for chipotle peppers......


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