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Batter-Fried Shrimp and Calamari 

Updated February 23, 2016
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Cookbook

1,000 Italian Recipes

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Wherever you find seafood in Italy, you will find cooks frying it in a crispy batter. This batter is made with eggs and yeast, which gives the crust a light, airy texture, golden color, and good flavor. Though I use olive oil for most cooking purposes, I prefer a tasteless vegetable oil for frying.

Makes6 servings

Cooking Methodfrying

CostInexpensive

Moderate

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursehot appetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationhot appetizer, main course

Equipmentdeep fryer

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecrisp, savory

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (100 to 110°F)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound small shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 8 ounces cleaned calamari (squid)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand 1 minute or until creamy. Stir to dissolve.

Add the eggs to the yeast mixture and beat well. Stir in the flour and salt. Beat with a whisk until smooth.

Rinse the shrimp and calamari well. Pat dry. Cut the calamari crosswise into ½-inch rings. If large, cut the base of each group of tentacles in half.

In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 2 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Heat the oil to 370°F on a frying thermometer or until a drop of the batter placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute.

Stir the shrimp and calamari into the batter. Remove the pieces a few at a time, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Very carefully place the pieces in the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry, stirring once with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the seafood from the pan and drain on paper towels. Fry the remainder in the same way. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

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