Deep-fried calamari with Japanese mayo

Sean Gravina gives a local favourite – deep-fried calamari – and Japanese twist. Marinated in soy and sake, the calamari and deep-fried and then served with a wasabi flavoured mayo. 

Deep-fried calamari with Japanese mayo


  • 2 local calamari  (about 800g)
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 50ml sake
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 150ml rice flour
  • Peanut oil, for deep-frying

Japanese mayo

  • 4 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tsp wasabi (to taste)
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp coriander


  1. Remove innards from squid by pulling tentacles from the body.
  2. Cut across the head, underneath the eyes, to separate tentacles in one piece (discard innards and eyes).
  3. Push tentacles outwards, squeeze beak out (discard), cut each tentacle into 3 pieces, place in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Slice wings from the body, then remove skin and trim tough flesh (discard). Halve wings and add to tentacles.
  5. Remove skin from the tube by running your finger underneath the skin, separating it from flesh, then peeling off in one piece (discard).
  6. Remove backbone from tube, cut tube open so it lays flat, then scrape out insides (discard).
  7. With your knife on an angle, cut the tube diagonally into thin bite-sized pieces and add to tentacles.
  8. Add soy, sake, ginger and garlic and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.
  9. Heat oil in a wok or deep-sided saucepan to 170˚C.
  10. Drain squid well, toss in flour, shake off excess, then deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (2-4 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper.
  11. To make the Japanese mayo mix together all of the ingredients.
  12. Serve the calamari hot with lemon wedges.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 18 October, 2015.