Seafood, Veggies

Crispy Salt and Pepper Calamari Salad with Wasabi Orange Vinaigrette

crispy-salt-and-pepper-calamari-salad-with-wasabi-orange-vinaigrette

We love salads. Every week like clock work we have salads on Tuesday night alongside a nice chunk of buttery moist bread and our favorite dressing. Sometimes the word salad can bring tension to a family especially one with small kids or if you have a certain husband (not mentioning any names:) that needs MEAT to survive. Thankfully, I have rewired convinced my husband with my endless supply of flavorful and unique salad creations that not all salads are boring and tasteless .

This past week I brought home the gold (hence the anticipation of the Olympic games)and used my freshly purchased calamari rings to liven up crispy ice-burg lettuce, creamy wasabi orange vinaigrette and hints of romano cheese.  The calamari were bathed in a nice bath of buttermilk and srichacha sauce ( just because I love using buttermilk when frying)  then dredged in a bubbly generous amount of tempura batter made with ice cold seltzer and freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper. The outcome was incredible, the seltzer keeps the batter from getting soggy, leaving you with an outrageously crispy golden crust. The crispy calamari and crispy ice-burg lettuce were a match made in heaven and the vinaigrette added the perfect sweetness with hints of orange and spicy wasabi. Don’t let the taste of summer pass you by- make this salad- you deserve it!

Crispy Salt and Pepper Calamari Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of fresh calamari rings
  • ⅓ cup of AP flour
  • ¼ cup of cornmeal
  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 TBSP freshly cracked sea salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • a dash of srichacha sauce
  • 8-10 ounces of ice cold seltzer
  • Wasabi Orange Vinaigrette: courtesy of Emeril
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix together in a large bowl the buttermilk and srichacha sauce. Place the squid in the bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove, drain and pat dry. Set aside
  2. Mix together in a separate large bowl the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Slowly pour in the seltzer water stirring vigorously until all is combined. Batter should be as thick as pancake batter. Dredge the calamari rings in the tempura batter, scraping off excess batter on the sides of the bowl before placing them into 375 degree hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve alongside crispy salad and wasabi orange vinaigrette.
  3. Wasabi Orange Vinaigrette:
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the wasabi, honey and vinegar. Whisk well. Slowly drizzle the oils into the bowl, whisking until the dressing emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro.

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36 Comments

  1. Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian

    Such a colorful salad with amazing flavor. wasabi and srichacha ? Whew, awesome!

    30 . Jul . 2012
  2. StephenC

    I’m confused by the two separate ways to comment. In any case I mentioned that I just bought calamari this morning and have everything else I need. Orange in the vinaigrette (not listed).

    30 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Sorry Stephen! I just added the orange to the ingredients! Oh and you can comment either by fb or by your normal blog address- either one is fine! Thanks for stopping by though!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  3. Eva Taylor

    What a lovely salad. I prefer my calamari grilled, but have on occasion enjoyed this deep fried version. Did you know that if you sliced your calamari in lengths (opposite to the rings) they will curl into little ringlets? So cute.
    I never noticed my calamari smelling fishy.

    30 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      I have never had grilled calamari? Hummm. I will need to change that!

      03 . Aug . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Oh and did not know that about the rings- mental note to do that next time!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  4. Shea

    Hmm, your husband sounds like my husband. Salad is a dirty word to him. But I would LOVE this, and he would enjoy picking out and eating the calimari!

    30 . Jul . 2012
  5. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen

    Why this is simply belleicious! We love calamari and your salad is divine. We are big salad lovers too.
    Sam

    30 . Jul . 2012
  6. Jessica | Cajunlicious

    I LOVE absolutely everything about this salad!

    30 . Jul . 2012
  7. Veronica's Kitchen

    I made some calamari salad not long ago and I like your version with wasabi and orange vinaigrette. Such a nice light meal!

    30 . Jul . 2012
  8. daphne

    light meals like this appeals to me too. Light and crispy calamari with fresh leaves and a dressing-perfect.

    30 . Jul . 2012
  9. Kankana

    the husband hardly eats salad. I on the other hand can survive on it every day. And when the salad has fancy seafood it will make me more happy 🙂

    30 . Jul . 2012
  10. Candace

    Love this salad so much! My husband would love this as well.

    30 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      He would! He really would. I swear you can change any salad haters mind into liking this one at least!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  11. Sook

    I love calamari! Calamari in salad. Perfect!

    30 . Jul . 2012
  12. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    Salads can easily stand out on their own as full meals and you proved that with this awesome recipe 🙂

    31 . Jul . 2012
  13. Baker Street

    OH MY! I love everything about this salad! Especially the calamari! 🙂

    31 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Thanks! Hey you should come up with a salad type muffin:)

      03 . Aug . 2012
  14. Lena

    jessica, i dont mind going on a meatless week and just eat this! wonderful pictures and the wasabi dressing sounds amazing

    31 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Me too! I swear if my husband would let us I would have a salad for dinner every night- that is as long as I have some good dessert afterwards! Lol!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  15. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Absolutely heavenly!
    🙂 Mandy

    31 . Jul . 2012
  16. Bree

    Another great one KB! 🙂

    31 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Thanks Bree!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  17. Tina (PinayInTexas)

    I wouldn’t mind eating salad everyday especially if it has my favorite calamari in it! Super yummy!

    31 . Jul . 2012
  18. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    You know I love squid/calamari and use it often for my cooking. This crispy calamari on the salad looks fantastic. I’m the only Japanese you know who don’t eat wasabi, but I can omit and still enjoy this lovely vinaigrette! YUM!

    31 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      You don’t eat wasabi! What! That surprises me! I think i could change your mind with this dressing though! Lol!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  19. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    You’re telling me to turn calamari into a salad and I say: Will do!! 🙂

    31 . Jul . 2012
  20. yummychunklet

    I may have to try adding the yummy calamari the next time I make a wedge salad!

    31 . Jul . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Oh you should my friend! The calamari was just perfect with the tempura batter

      03 . Aug . 2012
  21. Liz

    Oh,my. In a way, it’s good that no one but me in my household would even touch calamari..I’d get it ALL to myself! What a tremendous salad addition!!!

    31 . Jul . 2012
  22. Biren @ Roti n Rice

    This is my kind of salad. I love calamari but don’t cook it enough. Your calamari sounds delicious! The sriracha must give it an exciting spicy flavor.

    01 . Aug . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      So glad to hear from you:) the sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the sea salt and pepper!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  23. Balvinder

    That’s the appetizer my daughter usually order at the restaurant and I can’t eat. Nicely served in salad.

    02 . Aug . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Your daughter must make this then. You would enjoy the dressing! It was full of amazing flavors with the orange and wasabi!

      03 . Aug . 2012
  24. Shawn

    I do love some calamari! Never thought of making it the centerpiece of a salad and the dressing sounds divine. No doubt, I’ll be making this soon.

    28 . Aug . 2012
    • kbelleicious

      Oh i hope you do shawn. the calamari is perfectly fried and goes great with the dressing. so glad to hear from you

      29 . Aug . 2012

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