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Sourced and Seasoned: Crispy Fried Calamari with Spring Salad

Thursday 14th October 2021

This month for ‘Sourced and Seasoned’, Dezi Cooks filled her Market basket with greens aplenty, finding inspiration in the fresh food aisles for her next recipe: Crispy Fried Calamari with Spring Herb Salad.

Download your copy of the recipe here and read more about Dezi’s shopping trip to the Market below.

‘It’s great to see so much greenery, blooms and fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables in the garden and at the Prahran market this Spring. Lots of inspiration to get into the kitchen.

I’m no green thumb, so growing herbs is not for me (I’m the type that kills succulents), but I’m very happy to fill my shopping basket with some. Using fragrant and fresh herbs in your salads can add so much variety to your menu. Walking the aisles of the fruit stallholders in Prahran market, the fragrant dill and refreshing mint captured my attention, it is such a great pairing with seafood. Off into the Bracher arcade, I go, and straight to the fish shop. Spoiled for choice, the glistening calamari caught my eye.

Calamari is one of our favourites when it comes to seafood. It’s beautifully tender and delicate flavour that cooks so nicely on the BBQ, flash fried, or grilled. I know together with this salad, it will be a hit. I’m grateful to the friendly staff at Prahran Seafoods who cleaned my calamari for me, that’s one less messy job I have to do at home. Fresh is best and the trick with calamari is not to overcook it. However, if your fishmonger does not have fresh calamari available you can try either of these tricks to tenderise it; 

a) Soak the rings in milk for half an hour and rinse well before using.

B) Use kiwi fruit slices. The fruit’s acidity will also tenderise the rings, for this process you will need a maximum of 10 minutes.

No matter which option you use, ensure you rinse the calamari really well after doing so. 

For today’s calamari, I am going to dust it in a combination of flour and fine semolina to fry. This is such a nice and crispy coating that both kids and adults alike will love. Alternatively, use equal parts self-raising flour and rice flour. Prepare the salad first, that way you just need to cook the calamari and enjoy it. The calamari in this dish is hot and crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Don’t forget to include some extra lemon wedges, for those who would like some extra citrus. My mouth is watering already.’

Dezi’s fresh calamari is from our seafood market, AKA Bracher Arcade. This area of the food Market is also full to the brim of poultry, meat, and game, including organic food options.

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