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As squid is an essential part of several cuisines around the world, from the Italian language, it gets the name of calamari. Though in English also, the squid food is known by its culinary name calamari. But interestingly, the calamari and squid are the same beasts. Squid is less expensive than calamari as well as it is tougher than the other.
Calamari meat can be chewy, however, it never feels that tough like a rubbery feel. It is slightly sweet having a mild taste. If you marinate calamari, it absorbs the spices and offers you a flavor hard to elaborate on.
Best Air Fryer Calamari Recipe (Crispy Appetizer)
Being the most popular American appetizer, calamari is highly used all around. For the same reason, almost all the restaurants and food points offer you the best-served calamari. Through the covid phase, as all the businesses faced a shutdown, most of the people starting a cooking variety of foods at home. Keeping the same aspect in view we have come up with an easy-to-cook calamari recipe for you.
How to cook the best air fryer calamari
The main ingredient you will need to make the delicious air fryer calamari is the cleaned, and thawed frozen calamari. The calamari should be cut into thin ring shape slices. You can cut them into ¼ inches wide rings. Further, the tentacles need to be sliced into smaller pieces separately. The ingredients listed below are for cooking 1 pound of frozen calamari that will make 4 servings (appetizer size).
Besides the cooking ingredients, you will have to place a knife and a cutting board near you. Similarly, there will be 4 bowls required out of which, the three will be used for mixing the 1 for the dipping sauce.
- ½ Teaspoon black pepper (Ground)
- ½ Teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ¼ cup flour (all-purpose) or any alternative (gluten-free)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 Tablespoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
Once all the necessary ingredients are there on your kitchen counter, we can move towards the cooking process.
Take the calamari and if there is some water on it as it is frozen, dry it with a paper towel. Once done, put it in the bow.
Add the lemon juice and toss well as all the juice be coated around the calamari.
Add the salt, paprika, flour, and pepper to the other bowl and mix them well using a spoon or anything else.
Take the egg and add it with milk in the third bowl. Keep beating the mixture until it is evenly blended. Uneven blending results in an odd outside layer after cooking.
Meanwhile, you can switch on the air fryer for preheating up to 400°F. Do not forget to spray the basket inside the air fryer with cooking spray. That prevents the food from sticking therein. You can also coat the calamari with cooking spray after completing the following step.
Here is the part where you will need to be more concentrated as how good you do this will result in how perfect is the calamari cooked. The pieces of calamari one by one and dredge them well firstly in the flour mixture, and then roll them in the egg mixture. Make sure to be coated well the egg and mixture and then apply the flour mixture again the same way.
Now it is time to place the calamari in the air fryer basket. Make a single layer of calamari pieces in the basket. Stacking the pieces is not recommended as it will not let them cook perfectly. Cook the pieces in batches if there is more than one layer depending on the size of your air fryer.
As your air fryer is preheated to 400°F, it will take around 8 minutes to cook the calamari at the same temperature. Different air fryers may vary with the temperature implication, so you can increase and decrease a short span for cooking until it achieves a golden brown impact.
Once it is cooked, it should be served immediately so you should start cooking right before you want to set your dinner plates.
Garnishing the calamari with parsley or lemon adds a lot to its unique taste. You can serve it with several types of dipping sauces that suit your taste and choice. The most commonly used sauces with calamari are marinara, tartar, flavored mayonnaise, and aioli, etc. You can also use simple yogurt for dipping calamari.
As calamari contains 13 grams of protein in just a 3-ounce serving, it is very beneficial for human muscles and also boosts the energy level in the human body. Similarly, it contains antioxidants that are known for helping the resistance against free radicals. These are the risky elements that humans inhale while breathing. Furthermore, these antioxidants resist cancer and help to produce white blood cells.
Calamari is the powerhouse for several vitamins and other healthy minerals. It is enriched with potassium, copper, iron, Vitamin B-12, and phosphorus. For those who do not know about the benefits of these minerals let us tell you that they boost the immune system and strengthen the bones as well as the blood cells.
Possible Health Risks
Beware if you have a high cholesterol problem. The fats residing there in the calamari can be dangerous for them. But that only happens when the squid is deep-fried. The recipe we have presented above is almost safe for anybody.
The air fryer has replaced many cooking methods because of its health-oriented cooking technique. For example, frying the foods deep was the main reason for rising the fats level in the food that is not recommended for people with high cholesterol or other severe diseases. Air fryer cooking because of heat circulation system has resolved that issue and now everyone can enjoy the variety of foods without worries.
However, it can not reduce the nutrition, your food is naturally enriched with. You should keep an eye on the nutrition table while trying different foods so that you can stay healthy along with tasting life at best.