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Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish

Monsoon Cafe Calamari Tempura

Monsoon Cafe Calamari Tempura
Los Angeles Times

DEAR SOS: My friends and I recently had a plate of calamari, served with a sauce, at Monsoon Cafe in Santa Monica. It was delicious. We wonder if you could get the recipe. JOHN TA Alhambra DEAR JOHN: Executive chef ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes plus 1 hour chilling | Serves 6
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese hot pepper sauce
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 pounds cleaned calamari, cut into rings
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 8 cups oil, for frying
  • 6 large iceberg lettuce leaves

Step 1Combine salt, pepper, garlic, fish sauce, wine, eggs, paprika and hot pepper sauce in blender and blend 30 seconds. Pour mixture into large bowl and stir in flour just until combined; do not over-mix.

Step 2Add calamari. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Just before cooking, stir cornstarch into calamari mixture. (This step is important to give calamari a crispy texture).

Step 3Heat oil in large deep saucepan to 375 degrees on thermometer or until pinch of flour dropped into oil bubbles. Drop small batch of calamari into hot oil. Do not crowd pan. Cook in batches until calamari rings are golden brown and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Keep fried calamari in warm oven until all calamari are cooked.

Step 4To serve, fill each lettuce leaf with 1 cup calamari. Serve with Curry Mayonnaise.


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