This Greek-Style Crispy Deep-Fried Squid Salad is a taste sensation! It is a delightful combination of crispy deep-fried squid, and refreshing salad greens drizzled with a creamy almond sauce.
This calamari salad is perfect for summer dining or as part of a Greek meze.
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Deep-Fried Squid Salad
So first, you may be wondering what the difference between squid and calamari is, and simply put, there is no difference—calamari is simply the Italian word for squid!
In Greek, squid is called kalamária, and Kalamarakia Tiganita is a classic Greek meze dish served in tavernas and enjoyed by many—this delightful appetizer is simply deep-fried squid.
Traditionally served with lemon wedges for squeezing and accompanied by a refreshing beer, wine, or even a fancy cocktail, it is perfect for starting a meal.
However, calamari can also be served as a satisfying main dish, and our deep-fried squid salad is a delicious way to enjoy it!
The secret to amazing Greek-style deep-fried calamari is that you don’t need a complicated batter.
The squid rings are first marinated in a blend of sparkling water, lemon juice, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
This helps to tenderize them before coating them with flour and cornflour and deep-frying them to golden, crunchy perfection.
The crispy squid rings are served atop a fresh green salad and drizzled with a creamy dressing made with almonds, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, Greek yogurt, and mayonnaise.
The combination of all of these elements makes this squid salad a delight for the taste buds.
Whether you’re planning a summer dinner party or simply craving a light yet satisfying meal, this dish brings the best of both crispy and refreshing elements together.
Reasons Why You’ll Love This Greek-Style Deep-Fried Squid Salad!
- Irresistible Crunch: The deep-fried calamari offers a satisfying crunch that seafood lovers will adore, making it a perfect treat for those who enjoy crispy textures.
- Refreshing and Light: The combination of fresh salad greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber creates a refreshing and light dish, perfect for those seeking a vibrant and wholesome meal.
- Versatile Occasions: Whether you’re hosting a summer cookout, enjoying a picnic by the beach, or impressing guests at a dinner party, this squid salad is a versatile dish that suits various occasions.
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
For convenience, the required ingredients and equipment for this recipe are linked to online stores like Amazon or Amazon Fresh, if available.
Ingredients Needed For Deep-Fried Squid Salad
- Fresh Produce – Lemon, Garlic, Mixed Salad Greens, Shallot, Cherry Tomatoes, English Cucumber
- Protein – Fresh or Frozen Squid Rings (Calamari)
- Dairy – Greek Yogurt
- Pantry – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt
- Sparkling Water
- Baking Soda – also known as Bicarbonate of Soda.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – these are Japanese-style breadcrumbs. If you can’t source Panko, you can make your own breadcrumbs with day-old bread.
- All-Purpose Flour – also known as Plain Flour. If you can use bread flour or strong white flour, you’ll get an even crunchier crunch!
- Yellow Cornmeal – Greeks tend to use semolina, which is coarsely milled durum wheat.
- Vegetable Oil – or other neutral oil such as canola or sunflower oil for deep-frying.
The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found on the recipe card at the end of this post.
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What is the Difference Between Calamari and Squid?
Calamari and squid are actually the same things. Calamari is the Italian word for squid, so there is no difference between the two in terms of the animal itself. Both terms refer to a type of marine mollusk belonging to the cephalopod family.
However, “calamari” is often used to refer to squid when it is prepared as food, particularly when it is cooked in a specific manner, such as being breaded and deep-fried. The term “calamari” has become more commonly associated with the culinary preparation of squid rather than simply referring to the animal itself.
So, in essence, calamari and squid are interchangeable terms for the same creature, but “calamari” is more frequently used when discussing squid as a delicious dish, often prepared in various culinary styles such as fried, grilled, or sautéed.
Regardless of the term used, calamari or squid is enjoyed for its tender, mildly sweet flesh and its versatility in various culinary preparations, making it a popular seafood choice in many cuisines around the world.
Equipment Needed For This Recipe
- Mixing Bowls
- Food Processor
- Large, Deep Saucepan – for deep-frying. Or you could use a stand-alone deep fryer unit.
- Candy Thermometer – for checking the temperature of the oil.
- Paper Towels – for absorbing excess oil after frying.
- Spider Strainer or Kitchen Tongs– for removing cooked food from oil.
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping/Cutting Board
- Serving Bowl
The Purple Pumpkin Blog uses both cups and weighted measurements in its recipes, making American cups and kitchen food scales useful tools for trying out all the recipes. I provide US customary, imperial, and metric measurements, but it’s important to note that while you can combine cup measurements with weighted measures, never mix US customary/imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.) with metric (kilograms, grams, liters, etc.).
More Recipes Using Seafood
One of the hero ingredients in this dish is seafood, so here are some more recipes using the same:
- Seafood Charcuterie Board
- Quick & Easy Lemon Lime White Fish Recipe Cooked in Foil Packets
- Sicilian Caponata Recipe (Eggplant & Vegetable Dish) with Baked Cod
How Do I Make Deep-Fried Squid Salad?
The printable recipe card with the full ingredients list and instructions can be found at the end of this post.
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Marinating Time: 2 hours | Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Step 1 – Marinate the Squid: Place the sparkling water, lemon juice, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the squid rings to the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Step 2 – Make Salad Dressing/Dipping Sauce: Place the almonds into a food processor and pulse to crumble.
Next, add panko (or homemade breadcrumbs), garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt, and mayonnaise.
Mix until incorporated. Season with salt to taste. Place in a covered bowl or jar in the refrigerator.
TIP! After 2 hours, and when ready to fry the squid, follow the next steps.
Step 3 – Prepare Squid for Frying: Remove the squid from the refrigerator and drain well in a colander. Do not rinse or dry; just give the colander a good shake to remove excess moisture.
Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt in a medium bowl. Set it aside.
Add squid rings, a few at a time to the flour mixture. Toss gently to coat. Shake off excess coating.
Step 4 – Heat Oil for Frying: Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot to 340°F/180°C. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature.
Place a double layer of paper towel on a plate to drain excess oil after the squid has finished cooking.
TIP! If you don’t have a food thermometer, you can test the oil by dipping the edge of a squid ring into the oil. If it sizzles, it is hot enough to continue cooking.
Step 5 – Fry Squid: Place a few squid rings into the oil. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until just lightly golden. Do not overcook.
TIP! Do not overcrowd the oil, or it will cool down too much and make your calamari greasy instead of crispy.
Remove the cooked squid with a spider strainer or tongs and place it on the paper towel-lined plate.
Repeat until all calamari has been cooked.
Step 6 – Assemble Salad: Divide the salad greens between 4 plates or bowls and top with shallots, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Add the dressing to salads (reserving some for dipping) and top with cooked calamari.
Season with salt and fresh cracked paper to taste. Enjoy!
More Seafood Salad Recipes
Looking for more seafood salads to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Cumin-Garlic Sautéed Shrimp and Avocado Salad With Olives and Walnuts
- Niçoise Salad with Seared Ahi Tuna, Green Beans, Eggs, & Potatoes
- Citrus Salad with Salmon and Avocado
How to Deep-Fry Safely
If you have not deep-fried food before, it can be quite daunting. However, follow my tips below so that you can deep-fry food at home safely and confidently.
If you want to do a lot of deep-frying, it is worth investing in a dedicated deep-fryer, which is safer and more convenient to use.
- Use an oil with a high smoking point. Vegetable or groundnut/peanut oil is generally the best for deep-frying as they have a neutral taste, are economical to buy, and have a high smoke point. You do not want to use extra-virgin olive oil, which is best for dressing food.
- Use a large, deep, wide, sturdy pan. I use my old-fashioned pressure cooker saucepan, which fulfills all those requirements. A Dutch oven is another good option.
- Do not overfill the pan. Never fill the pan more than two-thirds with oil; it may bubble up when you add food and spill over.
- NEVER throw water on an oil/grease fire. Keep a damp (not wet) tea towel nearby to help smother the flames. Alternatively, invest in a fire blanket.
- Keep a well-fitting lid close at hand. If you don’t have a lid for the pot you are using, you can use a baking sheet. Use this to cover the pan should it catch fire.
- Invest in a fire extinguisher. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, this is the perfect time to purchase one. You never know when you will need it.
- Use a thermometer. Oil for deep-frying should be somewhere between 180°C and 200°C/350°F and 400°F. A food thermometer will help you to keep an eye on the temperature.
- NEVER leave a pan of hot oil unattended. Oil can take just a minute or two to overheat and catch fire. It is not worth the risk.
- Never put wet food in the fryer. Excess liquid causes the oil to splutter, which can cause injuries. Particularly wet foods should be patted dry with a paper towel before frying.
- Turn off the heat. If the oil starts smoking, it has become too hot and may catch fire. Turn off the heat, move the pan to another ring on your stovetop/hob, and allow it to cool completely.
- Turn the pan’s handle away from the front of the cooker. This is a good kitchen practice for any type of cooking. It will help you to avoid knocking the pan from the stovetop/hob.
- Child-free and pet-free zone. I feel like this doesn’t need explaining, but hot oil is dangerous stuff. Keep kids and animals shut out of the kitchen when deep-frying.
- How to dispose of the oil safely. Never pour the oil down the sink unless you want blocked pipes! Leave it to cool completely before pouring it into a jug/pitcher and funneling it into its original (empty) bottle or another sealable container for disposal in the trash.
What to Do When Deep-Frying Goes Wrong
Now, if you’ve read through all of that and are panicking. Please don’t. Just be sensible and follow the tips I have provided for you.
However, if something does happen:
- Keep calm.
- Turn off the heat and smother the flames with a lid, a large baking sheet, a damp (not wet) tea/kitchen towel, or a fire blanket.
- Use a fire extinguisher if you have one.
- DO NOT spray water on an oil/grease fire. This will cause the flames to spread.
- Evacuate the area and close the door.
- Call the emergency fire services on the number in your country of residence when it is safe.
Deep-Fried Squid Recipe Tips
- Using bread flour will create a crispier coating.
- The perfect frying temperature is 340°F/170°C
Storing Leftovers & Freezing
- Storing Leftovers:
- Store any leftover cooked squid/calamari and salad separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
- The squid can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days, while the salad greens should be consumed within 1-2 days for optimal freshness.
- Freezing Instructions:
- It is best to enjoy the deep-fried squid when it is freshly cooked. However, the cooked squid can be frozen.
- Cool quickly, and blot on paper towels to remove excess oil from the fried squid.
- Freeze the squid/calamari on a parchment-lined tray or baking sheet for 1 hour. Then, transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag for storage.
- Label with the name of the dish, thawing/reheating instructions, and the date to keep track of your food storage.
- Cooked calamari/squid will last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- To defrost the calamari, unwrap it completely and place it in the fridge to thaw overnight (or at least 12 hours).
- Bake or re-fry until hot.
- With all leftovers, ensure the food looks and smells okay before consuming.
- You can always consult the Food Standards Agency in your country for the most up-to-date advice on storing and freezing foods: Food Standards Agency (UK) | Food Safety (USA).
Printable Deep-Fried Squid Salad Recipe Card
To save ink, any demonstration photos on the recipe card do not print.
- ½ cup sparkling water
- ½ large Lemon, juiced
- ¼ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- ½ tsp sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 15 oz (425g) fresh or frozen squid rings (thawed)
For the Salad Dressing/Dipping Sauce
- 1½ cup panko breadcrumbs or homemade crumbs made from day old bread
- ½ cup almonds
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ large lemon, juiced
- 2½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- Salt, to taste
For the Fry Coating
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
- ½ tsp salt
- 2½ cups vegetable oil
For the Salad
- 4-5 cups mixed salad greens of choice
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 English Cucumber, sliced
- Place the sparkling water, lemon juice, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the squid rings to the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Place the almonds into a food processor and pulse to crumble. Next, add panko (or homemade breadcrumbs), garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt, and mayonnaise. Mix until incorporated. Season with salt to taste. Place in a covered bowl or jar in the refrigerator. TIP! After 2 hours, and when ready to fry the squid, follow the next steps.
- Remove the squid from the refrigerator and drain well in a colander. Do not rinse or dry; just give the colander a good shake to remove excess moisture. Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt in a medium bowl. Set it aside. Add squid rings, a few at a time to the flour mixture. Toss gently to coat. Shake off excess coating.
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot to 340°F/180°C. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. Place a double layer of paper towel on a plate to drain excess oil after the squid has finished cooking. TIP! If you don't have a food thermometer, you can test the oil by dipping the edge of a squid ring into the oil. If it sizzles, it is hot enough to continue cooking.
- Place a few squid rings into the oil. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until just lightly golden. Do not overcook. TIP! Do not overcrowd the oil, or it will cool down too much and make your calamari greasy instead of crispy. Remove the cooked squid with a spider strainer or tongs and place it on the paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all calamari has been cooked.
- Divide the salad greens between 4 plates or bowls and top with shallots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Add dressing to salads (reserving some for dipping) and top with cooked calamari. Season with salt and fresh cracked paper to taste. Enjoy!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1839Total Fat: 165gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 143gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1138mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 9gSugar: 11gProtein: 20g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Dinner Party Menu Suggestions
You’ve made the main dish, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to create a menu for a dinner party or special meal:
- Appetizer: Dolmades – Greek-Cyprtio Stuffed Vine Leaves
- Soup: Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup
- Salad: Watermelon Feta Salad
- Side Dish: Greek-Style Lemon Potatoes
- Beverage: Pomegranate Cosmopolitan Cocktail
- Dessert: Greek Baklava Recipe with Honey & Walnuts
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too.