Air fryer calamari is a Mediterranean snack that you can enjoy on its own with a cold beer or a glass of white wine, and it is also a lovely appetizer before a heartier meal. Calamari is Italian for squid, and yes, the crispy snack is indeed squid. Still, we’ve associated the Italian term with a particular way of cooking squid — fried until crisp.
There are two types of calamari. Calamari tubes, made by slicing the squid, and calamari tentacles; both end up nice and crispy. You can use either in the recipe below.
To make calamari, you need squid, and if it’s fresh, even better. If using frozen squid, thaw and drain it before use.
We need a batter too. There are several recipes for calamari batter, but we like the texture and thinness of a mix of equal parts all-purpose flour and milk with egg and baking powder. You’ll also need to flavor the batter, in this case, with onion powder and paprika. Try garlic powder as well!
As the last step, we add a breadcrumb layer to our calamari since we are air frying it and don’t want to make a mess. Wet and saucy food is not precisely compatible with the air fryer.
People traditionally serve calamari with a couple of lemon wedges and possibly mayo. Still, tomato-based sauces, such as marinara, are also lovely dips for such a crispy, sea-scented dish. Experiment with yogurt-based sauces, too, such as tzatziki or something tangy like tartar sauce, and don’t forget to try calamari with hot sauce — it’s life-changing.
Serve calamari with rice or pasta or tossed salad to contrast the seafood’s salty personality. Calamari is delicious on its own, so make a batch, and you’ll figure out the rest of your menu as you dig in.
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, milk, flour, baking powder, paprika and onion powder.
Preheat the air-fryer to 400°F
Dip the calamari tubes in the egg mixture and coat them with breadcrumbs.
Spray the calamari tubes with cooking oil and arrange them in the air fryer basket.
Air fry for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.
Serve with a creamy dip or marinara sauce. Alternatively, garnish with dried rosemary and serve with lemon wheels.