Serves 4 to 6
The secret of frying calamari (or anything, really) to appetizing crispiness is to have it as dry as possible before it gets floured, then shake the excess flour off before it goes into the pan. Also, give it enough space in the pot so that the oil can circulate freely around it. Always let the oil come back to temperature between batches. Drain your fried foods well, on paper towels or a rack.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 pound medium squid, tubes and tentacles, cleaned
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Pour 2 inches of vegetable oil in a medium Dutch oven and heat to 360 degrees F.
Cut the bodies of the calamari into ½ inch rings. If the tentacles are larger than bite-size, cut them in half lengthwise. Rinse the calamari and drain well in a colander. Pat them as dry as possible in a kitchen towel and divide into two batches. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the flour in a large shallow bowl and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Toss half of the calamari in the flour, then toss the calamari in a sieve over the bowl to remove excess flour. When the oil reaches temperature or when one coated calamari ring gives off a lively sizzle when lowered into the oil, add the coated calamari a few pieces at a time. Fry, until golden brown, turning with a spider once or twice, about 4 minutes.
Remove the calamari to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and let the oil return to temperature. Repeat with the remaining calamari. Season all with salt and pepper, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.