02 Sep Calamari Fritto Misto with Spicy Aioli
Let’s get over the stigma of deep-fried deliciousness with this splendid Calamari Fritto Misto with Spicy Aioli. There is a tasty and healthy life beyond french fries with onion rings! You don’t have to be a chef to discover and explore that alternative deep-fried reality.
Think of one of the leanest proteins – calamari. Its name sings the song of the sea. Its delicate tenderness is rhapsodized alongside with all the trickiness it takes to cook it properly. And here I am to bring you a simple yet elegant way to serve calamari as a staggering, fragrant starter peppered with a fusion of Italian and Japanese culinary vibes. “Fritto misto” (Italian) stands for an assortment of proteins and veggies dipped in batter and fried in vegetable oil. There is an overwhelming number of ways to cook fritto misto, but here you’ll find a worthy candidate to win a foodie choice award.
To make this Calamari Fritto Misto we’ll use a gluten-free, very light batter that will delicately envelop calamari, without hiding the awakened flavors. This “fruit of the sea” is accompanied by whole shishito peppers, thinly sliced zucchinis, fennel, and lemon, bringing the dish to a new level of crispiness and juiciness at once. When opposites attract, something phenomenal is usually born. This is exactly what happens here with crunchy yet tender bites and a piquant, fresh palate-opener – aioli based on white miso, mustard, and Sriracha. Who wants it spicy? If you do, you’ll get it.
This recipe is easy to recreate but hard to forget once you taste it. With these ingredients that are fresh and high-quality, your success is guaranteed.
Lastly, to honor the Italian heritage of this dish, serve it as an antipasto or make it a headliner of the meal – it’s up to you! Just don’t forget to add a glass of chilled white wine.
Calamari Fritto Misto with Spicy Aioli
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons white miso
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 3/4 cup grapeseed, sunflower, or vegetable oil
- Sunflower or canola oil for frying
- 2½ cups rice flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1¼ cups dry white wine
- 1¼ cups water
- 1 pound calamari cleaned and cut into rings
- 1 yellow squash or zucchini thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 8 shishito peppers
- 1 small lemon thinly sliced, plus additional wedges for serving
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a food processor, blend the egg yolks, mustard, miso, Sriracha, lemon juice, and vinegar. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil until a thick mayonnaise forms. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until needed.
- Pour enough oil into a 6-quart heavy-bottomed pan to reach a depth of at least 2 inches. Heat the oil to 375F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the white wine and water, and gently whisk until a smooth batter forms. Add more rice flour or water if needed until you achieve a thick buttermilk-like consistency.
- Line a baking tray with a few layers of paper towel. Working in small batches, dip the calamari and vegetables into the batter and shake off the excess batter. Fry each batch for 2 to 4 minutes until crisp and lightly golden. Drain on a towel-lined plate and season with salt. Serve right away with lemon wedges and the miso aioli.