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Calamari with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of JosephDeLeo.cookstr.com

Julie Esstman of Irving, Texas and her husband Mike are active philanthropists and help with many community projects. They hosted a martini party for charity. I prepared the food for the event and Vince my hair stylist sang Sinatra. Julie shared this recipe with me while planning the event.

Serves4

Cooking Methodfrying

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionFamily Get-together, game day

Recipe Courseappetizer, side dish

Dietary Considerationlactose-free, tree nut free

Equipmentdeep fryer

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecrisp, hot & spicy, savory, sweet, tangy, tart, umami

Ingredients

  • 1 (18-ounce) jar apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onion (white and pale green part only)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (juice from 1/2 medium lime)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian hot chili sauce or a dash of Tabasco red pepper sauce
  • 2 egg whites (from large eggs)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 sliced jalapeño peppers with seeds
  • 1 pound cleaned calamari (without tentacles)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Whisk
  • Thermometer (to test oil temperature)
  • Vegetable peeler (to peel ginger)

Instructions

Mix all of the Apricot Dipping Sauce ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat. Set the sauce aside until ready to serve. It may be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated.

Slice the calamari into 1/2-inch wide strips if necessary. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and egg until foamy. Add the jalapeño pepper slices, calamari slices and nam pla to the mixture and let sit at least an hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Mix the breading ingredients together. Coat the calamari and the jalapeño peppers in the breading. Heat the oil to 360°F (test with a thermometer). Fry approximately 30 to 40 seconds or until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Move to serving platter and serve with the warm Apricot Dipping Sauce.

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