Fried Cornmeal Calamari with Sriracha Aioli


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There are few appetizers that I love more than some fried calamari. After a long day in the sun, the ONLY thing I want to eat are some crispy lil squid rings. If there was an ice cold beer involved, I wouldn’t hate that either. Is that so wrong? What most people don’t realize about this classic fried app is that it’s actually pretty easy to make at home!

When I was testing this recipe, I wanted to try a few different breading mixtures to see which one stuck (literally) the best. I did one round of calamari that was coated in a simple all purpose flour mixture, and a separate round of calamari that was coated in a mixture of corn flour and corn meal. I am a scientist and the FeedfeedBrooklyn test kitchen is my laboratory. My findings were as follows. BOTH were very delicious and happily consumed by #TeamFeedfeed. That said, the cornmeal critters had a slightly nuttier, richer flavor than the all purpose flour batch, plus they were slightly crunchier. 

Despite the fact that there was nothing objectively wrong about the all-purpose flour batch, I decided to go in the direction of the cornmeal rendition because they were tastier, more visually appealing, and gluten free (I eat gluten, but this added plus feels like a cool bonus point that I will happily brag about!). All of this is to say that if you want to make these with all purpose flour, you definitely can make that substitution. Just don’t skip the sriracha aioli--that is very much a non negotiable!

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 20mins
Cook time 10mins
Serves or Makes: 4-6

Recipe Card

For the Aioli


  • 1 large Handsome Brook Farm Pasture Raised Organic egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha Chili Sauce
  • Lemon, freshly squeezed juice to taste
  • Kosher salt, To Taste
  • Black peppercorns, freshly ground, to taste

For the Fried Calamari



  • Step 1

    Make the aioli: Place a medium bowl in a saucepan to stabilize bowl. Whisk egg yolk and mustard until aerated and ribboned, about 1 minute. Gradually pour olive oil into egg mixture, whisking constantly to emulsify. Continue to whisk vigorously until pale in color, like mayonnaise. Fold in garlic and Sriracha. Squeeze in a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside in the fridge.

  • Step 2

    Make the calamari breading: In a medium bowl, whisk together corn flour, corn meal, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Add squid and toss until squid is completely coated. Remove from flour mixture, tapping off any excess breading.

  • Step 3

    In a large Dutch oven or braiser, bring at least 3 inches of oil to 350°F. Working in small batches, gently lower in calamari. Use a spider to break up any large clumps so that they do not stick together. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes, and transfer to a paper-towel lined baking sheet. Season with salt and black pepper. Garnish with fresh lemon juice and parsley and serve immediately with sriracha aioli.