How-To: Sauté Calamari
A quick sauté is a great way to enjoy calamari. Tossed in just a little bit of oil, it's healthier than a fried option, and fits well with a variety of dishes.
(Fun, if irrelevant, fact: sauté is from the French word meaning jump or bounce - it's a reference to tossing and moving the food around in the pan. It's also a ballet move!)
For your cooking oil, it's always wise to choose something with a higher smoke point, such as clarified butter (regular butter will burn more quickly), sunflower oil, or rapeseed oil. You'll also want just a coating along the bottom - too much oil makes it more of a fry, and too little makes everything stick. Be sure to use a pan that allows all of the calamari to sit in a single later so the steam can escape.
Because calamari releases some natural juices as it cooks, be sure to pre-heating the pan. Otherwise the lukewarm dish will make it steam, which will negatively impact the texture. Also, this cooking method is usually best with smaller, quick-cooking pieces, so rings with or without tentacles work really well. If you have calamari tubes, you might want to try grilling them (that video also uses rings, but tubes are easier!). And yes - if you'd rather show off your skills tossing the pan instead of using a kitchen utensil to stir, go for it! We'd love to see your videos, so definitely tag us on Instagram.
What to do with your calamari after you cook it? Here, it's tossed in a light sauce: olive oil, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, and white wine - think a white clam sauce, but calamari! But you can add to any type of pasta (including zoodles for a low-fat, veggie-packed meal), risotto, or salads. Be sure to browse all of our recipes for some inspiration.
Watch the video below to see the best way to sauté calamari. Like many of our how-to videos, start here and improvise to suit your tastes!