Deep-Fried Calamari, 炒尤鱼圈
You can deep-fry anything
Until I started observing the cooking as I got older, I had no idea just how much deep-frying Fuzhou cooking involved. We deep-fry a lot. A lot.
frying oil (e.g. vegetable oil)
First cut the calamari into rings if it's not pre-cut from the store. Wash it in a big bowl.
Add a dash of salt and mix it into the squid rings. Then mix in an egg white. Coat the calamari with a light layer of cornstarch to start. Mix well. This is the pre-coat.
In a separate bowl, create another thick batter of 1 tsp cornstarch, 2 tsp flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, water, and a dash of oil. Mix well. We will dip the pre-coated rings into this batter right before frying. The batter should be thick so that it stays on the calamari after dipping, like so:
Prepare the wok by heating frying oil to 350-375 degrees F. You can also use a pot or a dedicated deep-fryer.
It takes a little while in a wood-burning wok.
For each ring, first dip it in the mixture.
Carefully place the battered ring into the oil to deep fry. You'll know the oil is sufficiently hot if the rings float to the surface after a couple seconds. If it stays on the bottom, the oil isn't sufficiently heated.
Don't be shy. We have a lot of fish to fry.
Remove the calamari from the oil to drain. Let it sit for a few minutes.
It's recommended to re-fry the calamari a second time for 1 minute in hotter oil (375-400 degrees F) after the calamari has cooled a little. This second frying will give it a crispier shell.
That’s it! Plate and serve.
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