My kids love fried calamari. If it's on the menu, they want to order it. Every once in a while, you'll find fresh, never frozen, squid, as I did today. It is very inexpensive and the only hurdle, perhaps a big one, is cleaning them. It's not for those easily grossed out. So if you fall into that category, buy the pre-cleaned squid which usually comes nicely packaged and frozen. The bonus that comes with uncleaned squid is the science experiment that follows.
1 lb fresh squid
Hime Tempura Mix
oil for frying
Clean the squid by removing the head and tentacle section first. Once you break the skin on the outside, it is pretty easy to peel the whole thing off. Remove all remaining parts from the inside of the squid body. If you are a tentacle fan, as we are, cut the head portion off, leaving only the tentacles. Slice the body into 3/4" to 1" rings. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Liquid will continue to drain from the calamari as it sits.
When ready to fry, bring a large cast iron pot of oil to 350f. The pot should be large enough for deep frying, and you should only fill it up with oil half way. The oil will bubble and expand once food is placed into it. Dry the calamari on paper towels. Sprinkle calamari with garlic salt and Hime tempura mix to coat. Work the flour into the calamari and make sure they are coated evenly. Carefully drop calamari into the pot of hot oil. I use a large deep fryer strainer with a handle to carefully place the calamari into the oil. Once in the oil, let the calamari sit for 20 or 30 seconds before stirring to make sure they are not stuck together. Fry for another minute or two. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels before serving.
And here's the bonus science experiment compliments of Stella, who actually asked if I saved a squid for her to dissect. The body, 2 eyeballs, beak, mouth, spine, head, tentacle and organs. Stella used the spine and ink sac to write her name. Thank you 5th Grade science camp!