Sumac Szechuan Calamari

I’m really fussy about seafood. The long and the short of it is I don’t like it. But somewhere in the middle I like calamari and sashimi. Seriously, I love raw salmon, but as soon as you cook it, you’ve lost me.

I’m hoping that living in Portugal will change my mind about fish because it is a good source of protein and omega 3, but for now I’ll stick to sashimi and calamari.

So I don’t eat a lot of seafood and I know it is also a really good source of B12, so here is my version of calamari. This is a party on your taste buds! Taking some citrusy spices from the East and the Middle East brings a new twist on the classic lemon pepper calamari.

We tried the sumac and Szechuan pepper combo and the spices by themselves. We both liked the combo best, my second favourite was sumac by itself and K’s was Szechuan.

I reckon this would be the best calamari you’ve every had



Sumac Szechuan Calamari
serves 4, 15 minutes preparation and 15 minutes cooking

700g (a pound and a half) calamari tubes, cleaned
4tbs cornflour
4tbs plain flour
3tsp sumac (from Middle Eastern and Indian shops)
3tsp ground Szechuan pepper (from Chinese shops)
3tsp salt
Oil for frying

Rinse and dry


Rinse your calamari tubes, then pat dry with paper towel. Cut them into four to six pieces and then slices a criss-cross pattern into the calamari flesh (the side that was the inside of the tube).

Slice a lattice pattern in being careful not to slice right through


Flavour testing: Szechuan left, Sumac right and the combo at the back


Mix your flour, salt and spices. Then coat each piece of calamari lightly in the spiced flour.

My first time frying and I only got splattered by hot oil once, but it was in my eye, ow!


Fry in hot oil until lightly golden. Drain the cooked calamari well on paper towel.

This was sooooo good! We ate nearly 2 serves each, I justify it as getting my B12!


Serve with salad and a lemon mayonnaise dipping sauce.

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