Recipe: Extra-Flavorful Fried Calamari

Greece’s beloved “kalamarakia tiganita” are the perfect weekend treat to impress friends with, and it’s surprisingly easy to cook.

Chef: Nena Ismyrnoglou

Preparation & Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

It’s one of Greek cuisine’s most popular star dishes, served at most tavernas and Greek restaurants around the globe. It was recently named one of the best fried foods in the world by CNN. And yet, you’ve never made it at home.

Surprisingly, whipping up some kalamarakia tiganita, or fried calamari, is far from as intimidating as you might think. Follow the recipe below (enhanced with some extra spices), and you’ll be feasting on calamari in less than an hour.


Clean pat your calamari dry, and cut it into rings or strips, as preferred.

Mix the corn meal, semolina, spices and lemon zest together in a bowl.


Heat up olive oil in a deep frying pan (the oil should be at least 3-4 centimeters deep) over high heat. If you have a cooking thermometer, 180-190°C is ideal.

Cover your calamari in the breading, shake off excess, and fry in batches for 1-2 minutes, until golden.

Remove the calamari from the oil using a slotted spoon, and place on some kitchen towels to soak off excess oil.

Serve hot.


This recipe was previously published in Greek at


1 kg calamari

1/2 teacup corn meal


1/2 teacup fine semolina

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. sweet paprika

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. lemon zest

olive oil for frying

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